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Gujarati Daily Publishes Phone Number of BJP Leader On Front Page After CM Evades Question Over How He Arranged Remdesivir Stock Amid Shortage In State

When Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani was questioned about how did his party member managed to get 5000 Remdesivir injections, he said, “Ask Him (CR Patil)”. 

 

Surat| As the Coronavirus cases surge across the country, the demand for Remdesivir injection has also risen. However, India faced with huge spike in Covid-19 cases, is also facing another problem of shortage of Remdesivir. There are reports of people struggling to get Remdesivir injections. The medicals where Remdesivir is available are witnessing long queues.

Amid the shortage of the crucial drug essential in treatment of critical cases Coronavirus infection, Gujarat BJP has  found itself in a middle of a controversy over stocking it. Gujarat BJP Chief CR Patil on Friday had announced that the party unit will distribute 5000 Remdesivir injections daily to those in need free of charge in Surat-his home town. The city, which is also one of the major business hubs in the country is hit by rising Covid-19 cases. While visiting a hospital in the city, CR Patil made the announcement.

The announcement caught the BJP govt in the state in a catch 22 situation as the government itself is struggling to ensure adequate supply of the life-saving drug to the Covid hospitals in the state.

However, CR Patil did not stop short at announcement, the party unit in Surat began distributing the Remdesivir injection on Saturday, resulting in long queues.

Also Read: Amid Vaccine Shortage In Some States, “Tika Utsav” Kick Starts From Today

When Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani was questioned about how did his party member managed to get 5000 Remdesivir injections when the common man is facing the shortage, Rupani refused to directly comment on it. He said, “Ask Him (CR Patil)”.

However, unsatisfied with the answer of the Chief Minister, a regional daily Divya Bhaskar published the contact number of state BJP leader CR Patil on the front page. Devendra Bhatnagar, state editor of the Daily tweeted, “People were waiting in line for the injection, but the injections were not being provided, then where did 5000 injections come to BJP President CR Patil? Who gave it to him? How? Government should answer. This number belongs to the owner of injection CR Patil! People facing issues over availability of the injection, can call him directly and ask for the injection.”

What Is Remdesivir?

When India was hit by the Coronavirus induced lockdown last year, the drug Remdesivir hit the news. The demands soared for the drug. Only few pharma companies in India are licensed to sell the drug including Cadila, Cipla, Mylan, Hetero, Jubilant Lifesciences, and Dr Reddy’s Laboratories. It is priced anywhere between Rs 4,500 and Rs 5,000. However, amid the second wave, Maharashtra government asked the drug manufacturers to cap its price between Rs 1,100 and Rs 1,400 per dose. Doctors in India use Remdesivir as a post-infection treatment for COVID-19. However, the Drug Controller General of India has approved only the emergency use of the drug. The supply of the drug is government regulated.

Criticism By The Opposition

As the infections are rising, several cities have reported shortage of Remdesivir. Cities like Indore, Pune, Delhi and districts in Chhattisgarh are struggling for the drug. The black marketing of the drug has also emerged as another big concern where the drug is being sold at the inflated price of between 7000-10000 rupees. Thus, there are questions being raised by the opposition and people of Gujarat on how did Gujarat BJP chief manage to get the stock of Remdesivir which is essentially regulated by the govt.

Gujarat Congress leader Arjun Modhwadia tweeted, “There must be a probe by the State agencies into how the BJP president managed to get the stock of 5,000 injections when people are standing long serpentine queues to get even one injection in all major cities of the State.”

State Congress chief Amit Chavda on the other hand accused BJP leaders of “hoarding the injections to create artificial shortage” in the State.

on Saturday, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said that the state govt had placed the order for 3 Lakh injections. He also said that 10000 injection were made available in Surat through special arrangements.

 

 

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