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Remdesivir shortage forces Pune’s YCM hospital to skip fourth, fifth doses to Covid patients

"Since we are not getting adequate stock of Remdesivir, we have been forced to skip a couple of doses to Covid-19 patients," YCM hospital dean Dr Rajendra Wable told The Indian Express this afternoon.

Written by Manoj Dattatrye More | Pune |
Updated: April 20, 2021 4:55:06 pm
YMCH hospitalThe medical staff at YCM Hospital (Express photo)

Even as the health and medical department of the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) has decided to purchase over 7,000 injections of Remdesivir, the life-saving drug for Covid-19 patients, the civic-run YCM hospital seems to be struggling to provide a daily dose of the medicine to its in-house patients. As a result, YCM hospital has been forced to skip a couple of doses to Covid patients who have severe symptoms and are on oxygen support.

“Since we are not getting adequate stock of Remdesivir, we have been forced to skip a couple of doses to Covid-19 patients,” YCM hospital dean Dr Rajendra Wable told The Indian Express this afternoon.

Dr Wable on Monday said they received only 150 Remdesivir injections from PCMC’s central stores section. “We need 300-325 injections every day. As we are not getting stock for past few days, we have skipped fourth dose to some patients and fifth to other patients…As per the treatment protocol, we can skip the doses on fourth and fifth day if the patient is in stable condition and his or her oxygen saturation level has not started falling,” he said.

Dr Wable stressed that the doses were skipped only to those Covid patients who were in a stable condition after three days of the anti viral injection. “As per the Remdesivir treatment protocol for Covid patients, two doses are given on the first day. Then one each is given on the second, third, fourth and fifth day,” he said.

Dr Wable said Remdesivir is not given to those on ventilator or in serious condition. “It is generally given on the fifth day after the patient had tested positive but it depends on the blood parameters and blood oxygen level of the patient,” he said. YCMH has over 500 patients, a majority of whom are on oxygen support.

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When contacted, PCMC Additional Municipal Commissioner Vikas Dhakane said, “As per my information in next two-three days, there is a possibility of a Remdesivir problem easing to some extend. I have learnt officially that the first lot of Remdesivir from the company which had restarted production is likely by April 22.”

Dhakane said some private hospital doctors had approached him regarding the Remdesivir shortage problem on Monday. “I gave them this information regarding getting first lot of Remdesivir latest by April 22,” he said.

Meanwhile, the civic standing committee has sanctioned Rs 46 lakh for purchase of 7,050 Remdesivir injections. Civic officials said the PCMC had floated tenders for appointing a contractor who would provide Remdesivir vials on a regular basis. “M/s Laxmi Medicals has bagged the contract for supply of Remedisivir vials,” officials said.

In another decision, the PCMC has decided to appoint 50 medical officers on contract basis at Covid Care Centres (CCC) run by the civic body at 10 places. “As corona cases are rising, we are experiencing the shortage of doctors. That’s why we have decided to appoint 50 medical officers on temporary basis for a period of two months. If required, we will appoint more medical officers,” said Dr Laxman Gofane, assistant medical officer.

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