THD NewsDesk, New Delhi: With a surge in cases, India has entered the second phase of the ongoing Pandemic of Covid 19. On Thursday, India reported a maximum of over two lakh cases and 1,027 deaths due to Covid-19 and now has the second-highest number of infections after the United States.
With the surge in cases, Patients are continuing to suffer in silence. With no availability of beds in hospitals, people are being treated in wheelchairs now.
This unprecedented second wave with so much intensity has led the country to a very inevitably difficult situation. There is a serious shortage of Remdesivir injections and a threat of shortage in supply of Covid 19 vaccines as well.
In such a crucial state of the country, the government’s denial to accept the shortage of Remdesivir has only added to the people’s anxiety. Over the reported shortage of this antiviral medication, it has said that it is an issue of planning and not supply.
Dr Reddy’s, the pharmaceutical company has declared that they have run out of stock of Remdesivir, which has the most urgent requirement currently to treat people across the country. It says,
“We regret that there is no available stock for Remdesivir, as of today. We are making every effort to ensure that Dr. Reddy’s Remdesivir reaches as many patients as possible and are ramping up production.”
However, the government has stopped the export of these Remdesevir injections as of April 11 and have issued guidelines to ramp up the production capacity to 78 lakh vials per month from the earlier 38.80 lakh vials.
What is the reason for this sudden shortage in vaccines and Remdesevir injections?
- Halt in production of Remdesevir: According to the pharma industry, manufacturers didn’t want the drug to get saddled and wasted as the number of cases slowed down and it only has a life of around six-eight months. Moreover, the sudden surge in cases has led to the disbalance between the curve of demand and supply.
- The export of vaccine when the country did not have enough for its own lot has also led to this shortage. Till April 11, the export to other counties was continuing.
The opposition has attacked the government for this casual attitude in such a serious situation. Even though the government has denied any such claims, multiple vaccination centres in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha have complained of a shortage in supply of Covid-19 vaccines and remained shut as the states rationed their supply of vaccines amid a surge in Covid-19 cases.
A community health specialist told a newspaper,
“The vaccine shortage is due to poor logistics planning and coordination. If a software platform was built to forecast demand through pre-registration, then there should be no reason for a shortage. Yes, opening up the vaccination to all above 45 years may have some increase in demand but there has not been a population explosion overnight.”
Moreover, Oommen John, a senior public health researcher from the George Institute for Global Health, Delhi also stated,
“No one expected there would be such a surge in the Covid-19 cases as being witnessed. The vaccination strategy was designed assuming that there was reasonable herd immunity as per the series of serosurveys. But most of the assumptions that formed the basis of the vaccine delivery strategy no longer hold good.”
Currently, the vaccines, Covaxin by Bharat Biotech and Oxford-AstraZeneca Covishield manufactured by Serum Institute of India (SII) are being used for inoculation in India. India’s drug regulator has also recently granted permission for the restricted and emergency use of Russian Covid-19 vaccine Sputnik V with certain conditions.
The number of cases and deaths in the whole country is very alarming and is pushing people to a perpetual state of anxiety and grievance. The shortage of medication and vaccines needs an immediate solution and the due acknowledgement for the same by the government.