June 18, 2020 9:39:00 am
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure availability of Remdesivir and Tocilizumab drugs to treat all Covid-19 patients.
Speaking at a video conference meeting of all chief ministers with the PM, Uddhav also asked the Centre to issue uniform guidelines about final-year exams of the professional and non-professional courses of universities as well as immediate directions to nationalised banks to provide credit supply and loans to farmers.
According to a statement issued by the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO), Uddhav said, “There is no fixed treatment for the corona patients but the treatment methods, which involve various drugs, are showing positive results. So, these treatment methods should be allowed as soon as possible.”
He added that while Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits and N 95 masks are available, there is a need for more ventilators to equip hospitals in rural Maharashtra. To this, the PM insisted on increasing domestic manufacturing capacity of PPEs, masks, diagnostic kits and ventilators.
Earlier in the day, state Public Health Minister Rajesh Tope told mediapersons that Remdesivir and Tocilizumab are being used to treat Covid-19 patients with permission from ICMR on a case-to-case basis. “But rather than on an individual basis, we want these drugs to be available to all patients and at reasonable price,” he said.
He added that the state wants 500 ventilators from the Centre. Currently, Maharashtra has around 3,000 ventilators. Mumbai is reeling under a dearth of intensive care units and ventilators with over 95 per cent occupancy at any given time.
In the meeting with the PM, Uddhav also shared pictures of new jumbo Covid-19 facilities set up at Bandra Kurla Complex and NESCO ground in Mumbai. He said that under the “chase the virus” policy, tracing of close contacts has been increased. The policy has helped break the infection chain in Dharavi, he added.
Uddhav further raised the contentious issue of final-year university exams, stating that the Union government should issue uniform guidelines on it.
“We are not in a condition to conduct the exams immediately. The state government has decided upon a formula to give aggregate marks based on previous semesters exams to the students of non-professional courses. Those who are not happy with this, will be given a chance to appear for exams. The Union government, through central educational institutions, should take a uniform decision for professional and non-professional courses so that it will give the same justice to all students.”
Two weeks ago, after Uddhav had announced that aggregate marks based on previous semester exams would be given to all final-year college students, Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari had taken objection to this and stated that the decision of holding of examinations of final-year students “shall be taken in consonance with the provisions of the universities Act”.
The CM also reiterated that the Centre should issue directions to nationalised banks to give crop loans immediately to the farmers. The Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana should be extended for three months from July so that it will benefit all ration card holders, he added.
Meanwhile, at the start video conference, the PM spoke about the clash with Chinese troops at the Ladakh border, and the participants observed a two-minute silence. “We will fight the crisis at the border under the able leadership of the Prime Minister,” said Uddhav, as per the CMO statement.
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