NEW DELHI: There has been an unprecedented surge of daily new COVID cases across the country, with the resultant increase in the consumption of some drugs such as Remdesivir. Clinical management of COVID patients with severe symptoms in hospitals has also lead to a high consumption of oxygen. The Union Government has taken various steps to boost the supply of oxygen in the hospitals across the country, in the recent days.
Three prominent doctors of the country, Dr Randeep Guleria, Director, AIIMS, Dr. Devi Shetty, Chairman, Narayana Health and Dr. Naresh Trehan, Chairman, Medanta Hospital, addressed various issues being related to the rational utilization of Remdesivir, included under the category of Investigational therapy under the National Treatment Protocol of the Health Ministry, and use of Oxygen for treatment of Covid-19 patients in hospitals.
Dr. Guleria exalted the vaccine as the key to beat the gloom that is usually associated with COVID-19: although it may not prevent us from getting the infection, the vaccine prevents us from getting the disease in the form of severe illness. He said that it was important to understand that even after the vaccination, we may become infected with Covid-19 which makes it important to continue to wear a mask even after getting vaccinated.
Dr. Trehan resonated his observations and observed that the country has enough oxygen if we try to use it judiciously. He requested the audience not to use Oxygen as a “security blanket”. Waste of oxygen will only lead to depriving someone who needs it.
Dr Shetty advised to see a doctor and get their opinion if one is positive. He further advised to not panic if the report is positive as the problem can be solved provided one gets the medical help at an early stage & follow doctor’s instructions.
Through a graded, pre-emptive and pro-active approach, Government of India is taking several steps along with the States/UTs under a ‘whole of government’ approach for prevention, containment and management of the recent surge in COVID-19 cases. These are also being regularly reviewed and monitored at the highest level. The DPIIT, in consultation with all stakeholders has issued a supply mapping plan for 12 high burden states till 30th April.
The MHA advisory on unhindered movement of oxygen across states, the installation of 162 PSA Oxygen plants (154.19 MT capacity) in 32 States and UTs from PM-CARES fund, Operationalization of the IT application, ‘Medsupply’ which tracks site readiness, plant delivery, installation & commissioning, augmentation of Remdesivir production to around 74.10 lakh vials per month (May) from 27-29 lakh vials per month (Jan-Feb), Prohibition on the export of Remdesivir API and formulations by the DGFT, Stringent actions on black marketing and hoarding of the drug are some of the decisions taken to ease the difficulty of those affected by COVID.