Coronavirus: Resolve Remdesivir shortage on ‘war-footing’: Bombay High Court


By LE Desk

Mumbai, April 19: The Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court on Monday directed the Maharashtra government to immediately release 10,000 vials of Remdesivir by Monday night to Nagpur district and said the issue needs to be resolved on a “war-footing”.

The bench also directed the State and the Centre to file affidavits by April 21 on what parameters were followed to distribute and allocate Remdesivir to different States and districts, The Hindu reported.

A division bench of Justices Sunil Shukre and S.M. Modak was hearing a bunch of petitions on the use of medicines, medical infrastructure and the lack of it for dealing with the pandemic.

An advocate appearing for one of the petitioners said the allocation of Remdesivir to Nagpur was very low.

The court then said, “There appears to be a disparity and some arbitrariness in the distribution of Remdesivir vials to Nagpur district. The vials are not being released in proportion to the requirement.”

The bench remarked, “If contribution towards COVID-19 cases is 40% from Maharashtra, then it is only right to say that 40% of Remdesivir injections are allotted to this State. The allocation has to be need-based and not on any other factors that are not relevant.”

The court noted that on April 13 and April 18, not a single vial of Remdesivir was allotted to Nagpur and on April 17, only 500 vials were allotted.

The bench went on to say, “This has severely affected the administration of health care to COVID-19 patients in Nagpur. The possibility of mortality because of lack of Remdesivir cannot be ruled out. It is the solemn duty of the State to save and preserve each precious life.”

The court observed, “The COVID-19 scenario in Nagpur has turned to its worst. So much so that there are no beds available, no life saving measures available, lack of oxygen and also the dearth of medical and para-medical staff. The spike in COVID-19 cases in Nagpur is steep and the situation was not so bad even in the first phase of the pandemic last year.”

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