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Maharashtra urges Centre to increase oxygen supply and Remdesivir injections

The state’s request comes after its quota of medical oxygen as well as Remdesivir was reduced after the Union government took charge of their supplies.

Written by Ajay Jadhav | Pune |
Updated: April 25, 2021 1:04:56 am
Remdesivir, OxygenRelatives of Covid-infected patients wait in queue to buy remdesivir at Poona Hospital Medical Store on Wednesday. (Express Photo: Pavan Khengre)

With the quota of medical oxygen and Remdesivir injection supplies for Maharashtra cut down, the state government has urged the Central government to retain the supply of medical oxygen and Remdesivir injections to the state to meet the increasing demand.

“The Maharashtra government had managed to arrange 250 metric tonne of medical oxygen from Jamnagar-based Reliance company plant in Gujarat. However, it has been informed by the company that the supply has now been cut down to 125 metric tonne of medical oxygen per day for the state,” said Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Saturday.

This has happened because the Central government has taken control of the medical oxygen supply of the entire country to meet the demand of various states in the country, Pawar added.

“The chief secretary of the state has been asked to contact union government officials to get the medical oxygen supply quota increased for the state,” Pawar said, adding that the state will urge the Centre to retain the 250 metric tonne quota of medical oxygen supply for the state from Jamnagar.

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Pawar said the state government will start 30 oxygen generation plants in hospitals in Pune district with 10 to be set up through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), 10 through District Planning Committee, six by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and four by Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC).

The state government is also working on reopening closed plants in industries across the state as well as exploring oxygen generation in sugar factories, he said.

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The Central government has accepted the state government’s request to airlift vacant oxygen tankers, but refilled tankers will either be brought by road or rail service, Pawar said.

Pawar said the state was getting 36,000 Remdesivir injections per day, which have now been reduced to 25,000 per day. “The manufacturing companies were ready to supply the Remdesivir as per demand but the union government has taken control of the supply Remdesivir injections,” he said, adding that the Centre has been requested to increase the stock for the state.

Pawar said the requirement of Remdesivir or Covid vaccines can be met only after the Centre allows their import in the country.

“It is a demand and supply issue. Even if production is done with full capacity, there will be limitations to meet the demand considering the population of the country,” he said.

Pawar added that the state government is prepared to purchase vaccines from other countries if the Centre allows it. “The state government has planned a global tender for vaccines. We had spoken to the Serum Institute to supply the vaccine as per demand but they have communicated that it was not possible for them to meet the state demand and will provide as much of it as possible while urging us to buy the rest from other companies,” Pawar said.

Pawar said that the state government’s stand on its plan on administering the vaccine to eligible residents would be declared by the Chief Minister on May 1.

“The decision on whether to make it free-for-all will be declared by the chief minister. However, if need be, we will appeal to residents who can afford to pay for it while the state government will make arrangements for the poor class,” Pawar said.

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