HUBBALLI: The cry for remdesivir is getting louder in Dharwad district. Kin of COVID-19 patients undergoing treatment at KIMS Hospital in Hubballi are exerting pressure on local politicians to ensure the supply of the drug.
Remdesivir has been touted as a life-saving drug for patients severely ill with COVID-19. Dharwad district has so far reported 4,456 COVID-19 cases, of which 147 patients succumbed to the illness till August 2.
As of now, the drug is not available in the open market. The Karnataka State Drugs Logistics and Warehousing Society is supplying it to the district administration, which further distributes it among designated COVID-19 hospitals. Therefore, all hospitals are dependent on the government for the drug.
Deputy Commissioner Nitesh Patil said they had placed an order for 300 vials of remdesivir recently, but received only 100 vials a couple of days ago. "There is a huge demand for the drug and we hope that the government will supply it soon," he said.
The district has been supplied with 250 vials of remdesivir since July 15 of which KIMS was given around 150 vials and the remaining was shared with the District Hospital, SDM Hospital, Suchirayi Hospital and Vivekananda Hospital.
A senior doctor said, "Around 20-25 vials are required daily to treat 40 patients in the ICU and around 200 patients with severe symptoms undergoing treatment in KIMS. As there is a shortfall in the supply of the medicine, attendees of patients in the ICU and general wards are exerting political influence to get the drug."
However, Dr Ishwar Hasabi, a member of the District Task Force, said, "Remdesivir is not 100 per cent effective to treat COVID-19 and the shortage of the drug is not the reason for the increasing number of fatalities in the district. The KIMS Hospital is getting severe COVID-19 patients from other districts also and most of the fatalities are being reported within 24 hours of admission of patients to the hospital."