Like other parts of the State and country, there is a serious shortage of the medicine in Vellore. According to leading phama dealer M Kalaiarasu, they have been waiting for the medicine for nearly a fortnight. “We are still waiting for the 2,000 vials that were ordered nearly a fortnight ago. The agents say they will supply it in two days. But the promised supply has not come even after nearly 15 days,” he said.
When asked, a senior Health Department official blamed the private players of wantonly creating a demand so that they could hoard Remdesivir and sell it as astronomical rate. “While a vial of the medicine costs around Rs 900 in government hospitals, private hospital charge many times more. But patients fail to understand that it is not needed for everybody. It is this clamour for the drug that resulted in the high demand for beds in hospitals,” he said.
Asked if government facilities in Vellore would be able to handle the increasing number of COVID cases, the official said they would be able to manage if the daily positive cases are between 500 and 600. “If the number goes higher than that, then problems will increase,” said the official. A few hours later, the bulletin revealed that it went up from 536 on Wednesday to 614 on Thursday.
To ensure timely help, the government engineering college at Bagayam has been converted into a 700-bed COVID care facility where admissions have started, the official said. A 300-bed facility has been created at a private polytechnic at Gudiyattam but it is yet to be opened. “All COVID cases will first be taken to Bagayam. From there, after testing and based on their condition, they will be admitted to the Vellore government medical college hospital,” he added.