Telangana

Mad scramble for Remdesivir in capital

People waiting outside the firm’s building near Kukatpally Y Junction on Monday.  

Anxious family members of COVID-19 patients jostled with each other outside a private firm’s premises near Kukatpally Y Junction here on Monday afternoon. All this to lay their hands on Remdesivir vials which was in shortage for the past few weeks.

A serpentine queue extended for over 1 km and some more people stood along the length of a long gate of the firm’s building.

When one opened the gate to step out of the premises, people barged in. Around two policemen posted there had to physically hold back people, many of whom had come from faraway districts in Telangana and neighbouring Andhra Pradesh in search of the drug.

A few stood at the side fearing they might contract coronavirus if they joined the chaotic group. Doctors said the place could turn a COVID-19 hotspot.

People have been trying all means to get some doses of Remdesivir for their dear ones admitted at hospitals. Apart from mid-level and small hospitals, a few corporate hospitals have been facing shortage of the medicine.

Telangana Drug Control Administration (DCA) officials said the anti-viral drug is being supplied directly to hospitals and not sold at medical shops or any retail outlets as such. A list of around 1,300 hospitals were given to two companies manufacturing the drug.

However, earnest requests from people requesting the anti-viral drug continued. A message was circulated on social media platforms that the medicine was available at the firm near Kukatpally Y Junction. On Monday afternoon, over 50 people stood in queue there. They brought a doctor’s prescription of Remdesivir, copies of Aadhaar card and test report of the patients. “I have been waiting for over two hours and saw only four people coming out with the medicine,” said a man standing a little away from the gate. In about half hour, two people were seen walking out with sealed thermocol boxes containing the drug.

Despite multiple attempts to reach the firm’s management over phone and through texts, they did not respond.

People hoped for a smooth process of the drug distribution, information on availability and time taken for their turn to get the drug.

DCA officials said that revision of medicine price could be the reason for long delay in issuing it, and hence, the long queue.

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Printable version | May 9, 2021 4:19:10 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/mad-scramble-for-remdesivir-in-capital/article34362087.ece

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