Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], April 14 (ANI): Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association's (PHANA) executive committee member Dr Rajashekar on Wednesday admitted that there was a shortage of Remdesivir doses for COVID-19 treatment and that the Drug Controller General of India (DGCI) has assured extra supplies of the medicine for essential patients.
Speaking to the media, he said: "Remdisivir is one of the important injections in COVID-19 management. After the first wave, manufacturers had slowed down their production. However, due to the swift onset of the second wave, there is a real shortage of doses and there was a severe shortage of Remdesivir for one week. Several hospitals had patients who needed the Remdisivir injection. However, the stocks there were not even 20 to 30 per cent of what was required."
"Today we had a meeting with the government and the DGCI. They have assured to supply whatever required for essential patients within few hours of indent," he added.
Speaking on the current COVID-19 scenario, Rajashekar said: "During the first wave, there was a lot of caution and fear, now people don't have that fear. What we have to observe is that those people are testing positive, who have not moved anywhere and came in contact with no person. In this wave, the rate of infection spreading is much faster, in the initial days, it used to take 18 days to double and in this wave it taking eight to nine days to double, we fear that in the future it may take only five days to double."
He further opined that the government and the private sector must work together in this dire situation to take care of the vulnerable patients, adding that the number of beds in the state is being gradually increased. He also said that the real challenge is to not affect the non-COVID patients who need life support.
"ICU cannot be increased overnight, so we have to work in a limited number. If the COVID-19 numbers increase at the same rate within a week or 10 days, we may be heading to a difficult situation," he said.
He also informed that PHANA is planning to open up a customer care centre specifically for private hospitals so that all grievances connected to bed availability can be addressed.
Meanwhile, Karnataka Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar said that there is no shortage of medicine and vaccine in the state, adding that it has assured by all three companies manufacturing Remdesivir, which are located here.
Regarding the clinical treatment, Sudhakar said: "We have already engaged and appointed a high-level clinicians committee which is going to clearly issue the circular for a uniform treatment protocol throughout the state, depending on kind of infection to a particular person."
Karnataka reported 2,632 new COVID-19 cases, 6,079 discharges, and 67 deaths in the last 24 hours. (ANI)