Current COVID medical expenses lower than in second wave

A vial of Remdesivir whose MRP is ₹900 - ₹3,500 was sold for ₹15,000 - ₹50,000

January 23, 2022 12:33 am | Updated 12:35 am IST - Hyderabad

The COVID medical expenses being incurred by people in the current wave of COVID-19 are lesser than the money spent in the second wave. The mild form of the current wave is sparing people from digging into their hard earned savings, avoiding debts.

In the previous wave, anxiety to save loved ones have forced people to spend money on CT scans, blood tests (D-Dimer, CRP), for oxygen concentrator or cylinder refill. These were the initial expenses in the treatment.

Some medical resources were in high demand in the State and elsewhere in the second wave and short in supply. Greedy people banked on it and sold the resources in black market. Besides Remdesivir, medicines used in treatment of Mucormycosis such as Amphotericin-B were sold at five to ten times the MRP.

Recalling the times raises eye brows, pops eyes out, even now.

People are spared of these expenses till this point of time of the current surge. Since the need to get hospitalised too is low, the exorbitant bills at corporate hospitals are avoided. The private health facilities denying insurance policies for COVID treatment, demanding cash payment, advance payments, in the second wave emptied savings or made people take debts.

People requested the government to regulate the charges.

Though some action was taken, the hospitals continue to charge high prices. Prominent general physicians from Hyderabad have said that majority of the people with COVID now are having mild symptoms, recovering in five to seven days.

Only a few patients are in need of ICU admissions or oxygen support. Some of the latter have neglected consulting doctors or taking appropriate medications for the initial days of developing symptoms.

President of Telangana Chemists and Druggists Association , CH Janardhan Rao said that antibiotics such as Azithromycin, Doxycycline, and are in demand now. “Monoclonal antibodies cocktail, Remdesivir, too is sought but the demand is not too high. There is no shortage of the two medicines or the antibiotics,” said Mr Janardhan.

Drug Inspector C Vivekananda Reddy said that they have been monitoring the availability of various medicines used in treatment of COVID.

“There is no shortage of any of the medicines this time. And the demand too is low,” said Mr Vivekananda.

Volunteers involved in providing COVID relief said that the demand for oxygen is low, so the prices for refilling a cylinder are normal.

A COVID volunteer, Abhishek Murarka, said that he did not receive requests for any medicines after the second wave has subsided.

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