Updated: May 14, 2021 1:41:47 pm
Following complaints of large crowds at Government Kilpauk Medical College hoping to buy the anti-viral drug Remdesivir, the Tamil Nadu government Thursday informed the Madras High Court that it is planning to shift the sale of the vials to Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium at Periyampet. The government said it was planning to sell 20,000 vials per day and will be operating additional counters.
Advocate General R Shanmugasundaram made the submission before the divisional Bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy. The bench was hearing a suo motu petition to monitor the Covid-19 response in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.
The court said at the moment there does not appear to be much hue and cry over the non-availability of drugs, especially since the craze for Remdesivir has gone down with the public at large being made aware that it may not be a life saving drug but of limited efficacy.
Shanmugasundaram assured the court that steps were being taken to ensure there is no such queuing up.
The decision of the state government comes days after attendees of the Covid-19 patients, who had to wait in long queues at the Government Kilpauk Medical College, complained about crowding and the illegal sale of the drug. People from various districts thronged the counters from as early as 4 am. The state government then announced that the counters would be opened in four other districts – Coimbatore, Salem, Tiruchirapally and Tirunelveli but the crowd failed to disperse as many of them complained about the shortage of the drug in other districts.
Caretakers of the patients added that counters were being shut prior to the time set by the government and also spoke of the lack of tokens provided to them by officials. Public health experts, activists and other general public urged the state government to make necessary arrangements for the smooth conduct of buying the drug at the counters.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin wrote to the Centre to address the shortage of Remdesivir drug in the state. As per the release from the Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation (TNMSC), the drug will be available from Saturday. A total of 300 tokens will be issued per day and other arrangements such as making separate entry and exit gate for caretakers to be made by the officials. People have been instructed to adhere to the SOPs issued by the government.
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