Chennai

Volunteers pitch in with food for those waiting for Remdesivir in Chennai

Volunteers and the police distributing food packets   | Photo Credit: K. Pichumani

Shanti, who works in a government office on Anna Salai, was waiting patiently at the Government Kilpauk Medical College campus to get Remdesivir for her colleague's family. She was happy when a group of volunteers rushed towards her and provided her with a packet of food.

Seeing the plight of people waiting in the queue since early in the morning every day to obtain the drug used to treat COVID-19 patients, many volunteers and NGOs with the help of the police have been distributing food packets to them for several days now. Those waiting for the medicine are happy as they usually cannot leave the queue to get food.

“I have been waiting here since morning to get medicine for my colleague’s family in Ambattur. All four in the family have tested positive. Hence I wanted to help them. I am very happy that the NGOs, some members of the public and the police have come together to give food to people waiting in the queue,” said Ms. Shanti.

On an average, 250 people wait in the queue every day. “One person can get up to six vials after producing relevant documents. People start waiting at night and when we open the main gates around 8 a.m, they wait in the queue. We check all the documents and in some cases we cross-check with the doctors who have prescribed. Till date we have remanded three persons who produced fake prescriptions to get the medicines,” said K. Rajamohan, assistant police commissioner, Kilpauk.

Since the procedure takes a long time, people wait in the queue for hours. “We wanted to help these people. Hence we have been providing food and water bottles to them. We provide around 300 packets per day,” said Sandeep Bansal, who along with his friends Pavan Jhabak and C. P. Surana have been providing this service.

S. Jayaraman, law and order inspector, Kilpauk, said that an NGO called Aranya Foundation also provides a large number of food packets every day. “This is a great service they are doing. We are just coordinating their efforts,” he added.

Mr. Rajamohan, said that during the initial days it was hard to control the crowd. But now they have streamlined it. “We take down a list of people who waited in the queue but could not get the medicine. The next day they are given priority. So the confusion has reduced,” he added.


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Printable version | Jun 23, 2021 3:21:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/volunteers-pitch-in-with-food-for-those-waiting-for-remdesivir-in-chennai/article34550161.ece

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