Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir administration has started stocking Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), an effective drug recommended by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) for COVID-19 patients.
More than five lakh tablets of HCQ have reached Srinagar, which the Jammu and Kashmir Medical Supplies Corporation (JKMSCL) has handed over to different hospitals.
“We have procured five lakh tablets of HCQ and handed them over to the heads of various hospitals. These supplies are arriving in a special cargo,” General Manager of JKMSCL Mohammad Iqbal told The Kashmir Monitor.
Last week, the administration had procured one lakh HCQ tablets, which were handed over to COVID-19 hospitals especially GMC Srinagar, SKIMS Bemina, GMC Baramulla and Anantnag.
HCQ is in huge demand since ICMR has recommended the drug along with Azithromycin for COVID patients who do not have cardiac ailments.
“It is used as a substitute to treat COVID patients. We procure the drug as per the requirement,” Iqbal said.
He said PPE and Viral Transport Media (VTM) kits are also supplied to hospitals to tackle coronavirus.
A source said the HCQ is being imported in abundance to meet any kind of eventuality.
“Currently, there is no shortage of this drug in hospitals. These tablets are being procured and supplied to hospitals on a routine basis,” they said.
Doctors said they are following the ICMR guidelines by giving this drug to the COVID-19 patients who have no history of heart-related ailments.
However, the drug is not available in the open market.“Various companies manufacture HCQ in huge quantity and we can import it any time if the need arises,” said Jammu and Kashmir Chemists and Druggists Association president, Fayaz Azad.
India is also sending the supply of HCQ to UAE and other countries.