Remdesivir shortage hits Kupwara hospitals

Representational Image
Representational Image

People on Friday expressed resentment against the authorities for failing to make available the life saving drugs needed for COVID-19 positive patients in government hospitals across north Kashmir's Kupwara district.

Remdesivir injection which is regarded as the lifeline for COVID-19 positive patients and stops the virus from spreading in the body has not been made available in any government hospital in Kupwara since the second wave of COVID-19.

Even in the 100-bedded COVID-19 hospital located at Sub District Hospital Kupwara, Remdesivir injection is not available which compels doctors to refer patients to tertiary hospitals, leaving them overburdened.

One Remdesivir injection costs Rs 4500 in the open market and in the government hospitals, COVID-19 patients are supposed to get it free but with its shortage, people are forced to buy it from the open market.

At present seven patients are admitted at COVID-19 hospital Kupwara and one among them Thursday afternoon developed complications, forcing doctors to refer him to Srinagar.

"What is the fun of having COVID-19 hospital at district level when drugs are not available here," said an attendant of a patient.

The situation in District Hospital Handwara is no different as the required drugs are not available for COVID-19 positive patients.

Resultantly, patients are running from pillar to post to get the medicine.

Meanwhile, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Kowser Amin told Greater Kashmir that they had taken up the issue with Directorate of Health and within few days Remdesivir injection along with other prerequisite medicines for COVID-19 patients would be available in Kupwara hospitals.

On why the department did not make drugs available before, she said that the department could not procure the essential medicines due to shortage of medicines at the country level.

"Now the medicines have reached the provincial store in Srinagar and Kupwara will get its share at the earliest," the CMO said.

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