Telangana

Telangana Health Minister presses alarm bell, calls out issues with Remdesivir and oxygen allocation

Telangana Minister for Health Medical and Family Welfare Eatala Rajendar. File   | Photo Credit: G. Ramakrishna

Though Telangana has placed order for over 4 lakh vials of Remdesivir, the State was allotted only 21551 vials of the antiviral drug for ten days (April 21-30). Telangana Health Minister Eatala Rajender who pressed alarm bells over crucial COVID-19 resources, has called out central government’s discrimination in allotting the antiviral drug, oxygen, vaccines, to the State.  

Requesting to allow oxygen to be procured from places near to Telangana, he said that Central government will be responsible for oxygen shortage in the State if they do not make changes in the places where the resource is procured. Mr Rajender has expressed protest against the discrimination. 

At a press conference held in Hyderabad on Thursday, he has pointed out problems with procurement of oxygen from faraway places in other States, why Hyderabad should not be seen as a place where patients only from Telangana get admitted, and other issues. He has also called out partiality towards Gujarat, and neglect towards other States. 

Remdesivir is manufactured by at least two companies in and around Hyderabad. Till Wednesday, the State was procuring it directly.  

Mr Rajender said that Central government has issued an order on April 21 stating that they will take control over Remdesivir injections alike to the control over vaccines and oxygen. “This is so saddening,” he said. Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan was informed of the issue.  

He said that Gujarat is allotted 1.63 lakh vials of the drug, 2 lakh vials to Maharashtra, 61000 to Delhi, 92000 to Madhya Pradesh.  

Mr Rajender said that around 60% to 70% of patients admitted in hospitals in Hyderabad are from other States. Usually, patients from Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh places in borders of Karnataka and Maharashtra admit to hospitals in the city.  

The State Health Minister has mentioned this to drive a point that patients from various States get treated in the city, and meagre allocation of the antiviral drug or other resources will cause critical problems to the patients.  

“We cannot impose a condition to admit patients only from our States. As nation is in crisis, it is our responsibility to treat patients from everywhere. They should not face any issues. We placed order for 4 lakh vials of Remdesivir, but got only 21551 for ten days,” Mr Rajender said.  

Oxygen supply 

Currently, Telangana is in need of around 260-270 metric tons of oxygen per day. And it is expected that the demand can shoot up to 350 metric tons per day. Stating that oxygen is not procured in Telangana, Mr Rajender said that it is procured from other States.  

Around 20 metric tons of oxygen is procured from Bellary, 30 more from Hospet, 20 from Chennai, and 84 tons from Odisha which is 1300 kms away.  

“Getting oxygen from 1300 kms is difficult. Special tankers are needed. We asked Dr Harsh Vardhan to allocate Oxygen from nearby places like Visakhapatnam, Sriperambudur, Bellary. If Central government does not change it, they will have to take responsibility if there were to be oxygen shortage,” Mr Rajender said. 

He has also mentioned that though the State was allowed to get oxygen from Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu said they will not give even one litre. They held back 35 tons per day.  

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Printable version | May 8, 2021 9:29:11 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/telangana-health-minister-presses-alarm-bell-calls-out-issues-with-remdesivir-and-oxygen-allocation/article34384369.ece

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