At a time when the COVID-19 crisis is surging with each passing day and the queues outside hospitals and crematoriums are getting longer, the Union government has said that the production of Remdesivir—a crucial antiviral drug used for the treatment of COVID-19 patients—has significantly gone up by three times within a period of three weeks.
With a ramp-up in production, the Union government is hopeful of meeting the domestic demand for the jab soon.
Union minister of state for chemicals and fertilisers, Mansukh Mandaviya, said that the production of Remdesivir has gone up by three times as of May 4 as compared to the production on April 12. While 37 lakh vials used to be produced per month on April 12, it has increased to 1.05 crore vials on May 4.
Notably, the number of plants that produce the antiviral jab has also increased significantly during this period. While 20 plants used to manufacture Remdesivir as of April 12, now 57 plants are involved in the manufacturing of the drug.
Demand for Remdesivir still unmet
While the Union government is claiming that the production of Remdesivir has gone up in the past few weeks, people are still facing difficulties in securing the drug for their loved ones. Social media platforms are flooded with messages seeking the jab urgently amid a significant demand and supply gap.
In fact, in Gujarat, the high court has repeatedly critised the state government for its failure to ensure the availability of the drug in sufficient quantity.
Gujarat govt guideline on Remdesivir use
The Gujarat government had on April 18 issued guideline for the use of Remdesivir. According to the government guideline, the jab should be administered only in serious patients who have high-grade fever for the past 3-4 days, the presence of C-reactive protein in blood has increased and if oxygen level has declined to 93 per cent.
The government guideline also suggests that the jab should be administered if the patient is feeling extreme weakness and breathlessness; if the patient is 50 years old and due to COVID, CRP, d-Dimer and Ferritin have increased; and ground-glass opacity in chest X-ray.
The government has also suggested that the jab should be administered after consultation with an infectious disease specialist, pulmonologist, physician or child specialist.
To read the latest news in Gujarati click here