Karnataka Ministers differ on global tenders for vaccine
Senior Ministers in the State Cabinet on Tuesday differed in their views on the procurement of vaccines. While Deputy Chief Minister C.N. Ashwath Narayan said that two crore vaccine vials would be procured through a global tender, Health Minister K. Sudhakar said no such discussions had taken place.
Dr. Ashwath Narayan, who heads the COVID-19 task force, told reporters that two crore vaccine vials would be procured through a short-term seven-day global tender to facilitate vaccination of those in the age group of 18 and 44. This would be in addition to three crore vaccines, including two crore Covishield and one crore Covaxin vials.
“Till now, we have depended on vaccines supplied by the Union government and not procured them through tender in the open market. Now it has been instructed to float a tender and complete the process within seven days,” he said, after a high-level meeting.
Later in the day, when the views of Mr. Sudhakar were sought, he said he was not aware of the floating of a global tender to procure vaccines. “Dr. Ashwath Narayan has not spoken about this to me. I will get the information and then speak on the issue,” he said. He also pointed out that at present, only the use for three vaccines — Covishield, Covaxin, and Sputnik V — were approved in India.
Meanwhile, Dr. Ashwath Narayan said instructions had been issued to procure one lakh pulse oximeters, which would be distributed to patients in districts and taluks. “It will be the responsibility of the district and taluk health officers to collect them back from the patients. Later, an oximeter bank will be set up.”
He also said that 10 lakh tablets of Ivermectin have been procured already and supply would commence from Friday. A further 25 lakh tablets would be procured, he added.
Meawhile, an order issued by Chief Secretary P. Ravikumar outlined the guidelines for the procurement of Remdesivir by private hospitals for private patients. While it outlined the mode of procurement of the drug for patients in government hospitals and government-funded patients in private hospitals, detailed guidelines have been issued on the process of indenting Remdesivir by private hospitals.