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Patients’ kin queue up overnight at lone Remdesivir counter
The kin of COVID patients queued for hours at the Remdesivir counter opened by Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation at Kilpauk Medical College and Hospital, with many waiting through the night to get the vials as the counter opened at 10 am on Tuesday.
With only one counter in the city giving out the drug costing Rs 1,568 per vial, people in huge numbers waited for the drug. “I came from Padur and was standing in the queue for 12 hours since 4 am. However, I am thankful to get the vials for my father after asking around for more than three days. We at least could get the drug in one place and not raom around,” said 22-year-old J Athreya.
Another attendant of a patient from Chengalpattu, Karthick N, said there was only one centre in Chennai for the distribution of the drug and thus, people from other districts had to travel to the city for this. “I came on Monday evening and could not get the drug even after waiting three hours. I stayed the night to be able to receive it early next day. It will be helpful if more such counters are open,” said Karthick.
The RT-PCR positive report, Aadhaar card, original prescription of the patient are necessary to obtain Remdesivir from the counter. Many patients had to turn back for lack of proper documents. “We distributed approximately 1,500 vials to more than 250 people since morning. We are here from 10 am to 5 pm. All those who didn’t get the drug today, were issued tokens for the next day,” an official at the distribution counter said.
Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan said Remdesivir will be distributed as per availability and so far, there are 59,000 doses. “We receive Remdesivir on a weekly basis from the centralised allocation unit. There is a separate procedure for its procurement in private hospitals. Moreover, the drug is not necessary for all and is being given as per standard policies,” he added.