Politics before pandemic: Maha fight over 'seizure' of Remdesivir amidst COVID crisis

Discovery of a large stock of Remdesivir injections from a pharmaceutical company has become the latest flashpoint between the government of Maharashtra and the opposition led by BJP.

Published: 19th April 2021 08:31 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th April 2021 08:40 AM   |  A+A-


Image for representational purpose only. ( Photo | AFP)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  Discovery of a large stock of Remdesivir injections from a pharmaceutical company has become the latest flashpoint between the government of Maharashtra and the opposition led by BJP. While Maha Vikas Aghadi leaders alleged that BJP was hoarding the drug given to Covid-19 patients in serious conditions, saffron party officials claimed they had bought this to donate it to the state government. 

This happened on a day when Maharashtra recorded its highest-ever daily tally of 68,631  new cases.
Mumbai Police got information that around 60,000 vials of Remdesivir was stocked by the company. “The stock could not be exported due to the ban by government of India. The director of this company was called for questioning at BKC Police Station,” said a police statement. After hearing the news, Devendra Fadanivs and other BJP leaders rushed to the police station and asked why the director of Bruck Pharmaceutical was being questioned. The director was released after questioning.

Incidentally, two technical directors of Bruck Pharmaceutical - Manish Singh and Varun Kundra - were arrested in Gujarat a few days ago on charges of selling Remdesivir at an inflated price in the black market.Fadnavis claimed they had taken necessary steps to arrange this stock. “Four days ago, we had requested Bruck Pharma to supply a stock of Remdesivir vials to Maharashtra.

ALSO READ: NSA to be invoked for illegal Remdesivir trade in Madhya Pradesh

They said they couldn’t until permissions were given. I spoke with Union Minister Mansukh Mandviya and got permission from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA),” said Fadnavis, a former Maharashtra chief minister. He maintained that the intention was to donate it to the state government, which has reported an acute short of Remdesivir.

The other parties were not buying this. They accused BJP of hoarding the drug, which is in heavy demand all over the country. “Why is BJP desperate to save the Bruck Pharma director? Police is investigating. In Gujarat, the state BJP president distributed 50,000 doses of Remdesivir and distributed it at the party offices. Fadanvis wanted to do the same in Maharashtra by violating all norms,” said NCP minister Nawab Malik.

‘Janata Curfew not working, state needs Complete lockdown to curb cases’ 
As there is no sign of a break in Covid load despite Janata Curfew, Maha Vikas Aghadi leaders are now asking Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to impose a complete lockdown for breaking the surge of infection. Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope said that the Covid 19 positive cases are surging speedily despite Janta Curfew. “People are not following the Covid 19 protocol seriously.

They are still going ours without any valid reason. We have to reduce the crowd in vegetable markets and other essential shops. If the Covid 19 positive did not come down, then we have no option but to impose the complete lockdown,” Tope said. Senior NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal,  who is also guardian minister of Nasik said, that in Nasik, per million the positive cases are high. “I got a phone call from several people including BJP MLAs demanding complete lockdown. This Janta Curfew is not working,” he asserted. 


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