T’gana Health Minister Lashes Out At Centre: Remdesivir Shortage
State was allocated just 21,551 vials of remdesivir. Telangana had asked for 4 lakh doses.
Telangana Health Minister, Etela Rajender on Thursday, 22 April, said that the Centre has failed in its duties to the states. The minister who held a media conference in Hyderabad said, “The government has been partial to states like Gujarat in allotting remdesivir injection vials”.
Gujarat was allotted 1.63 lakh vials of the drug and two lakh doses went to Maharashtra, he added.
The minister said that Telangana had asked for four lakh doses of remdesivir, but was allotted only 21,551 doses. This allotment was for ten days starting 21 April.
The minister said that at least two companies near Hyderabad manufacture the drug. Till 21 April, the state was procuring the medicine directly. However, the Centre’s intervention had cut down on the state’s share, he added.
The minister said that a good chunk of patients in Telangana hospitals hail from other states including Maharashtra. “Sixty to 70 per cent of the patients admitted in hospitals in Hyderabad are from other states,” he said. Under such circumstances maintaining stock of remdesivir is important for the state, he added. Patients from Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Chhattisgarh have been taking treatment in Telangana, he said.
“Telangana has not playing politics with the lives of people, even if they are from other states. The Centre should help states like Telangana,” he said.
Telangana is in need of 26 to 270 metric tons of oxygen per day. While the demand could shoot up to 350 metric tons, the state has been depending on other states for oxygen supply.
Telangana has been procuring 20 metric tons of oxygen from Ballari and Chennai each, 30 metric tons from Hospet, and 84 metric tonns from Odisha. These locations are far from the state, the minister pointed out. “We have asked Union health minister Harsh Vardhan to allocate oxygen from nearby places like Visakhapatnam, Sriperumbudur and Ballari,” he said.
Telangana had asked the Centre to provide the state with required amount of vaccination. “The Centre did not take us seriously despite the Chief Minister talking to the Union health minister,” he said.
The state can provide vaccination up to 1 lakh people per day. “We are not saying that the Centre should not take control of the vaccination drive. The Centre should, however, take into consideration, the needs of the state,” Rajender said.
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