Police told to shore up security outside distributors’ offices
- Distributors said they have been bombarded with calls from relatives of Covid-19 patients and are unable to meet the demand.
The Delhi government has asked the police to ensure adequate security arrangements outside the offices of Remdesivir distributors, as demand for the antiviral drug soars, with several doctors prescribing the medicine to treat Covid-19 patients.
In a letter to Delhi police commissioner SN Shrivastava on April 22, the state government’s special health secretary and drug controller Udit Prakash Rai wrote, “…steep increase in demand of the said formulations (remdesivir) has resulted in long queues… which are now becoming unmanageable and resulting in law-and-order problems… you are requested to provide adequate security arrangement and police staff at these sites.”
The Delhi government on April 19 allowed a few distributors to sell Remdesivir injections to those with valid prescriptions.
Distributors said they have been bombarded with calls from relatives of Covid-19 patients and are unable to meet the demand.
Sandeep Nangia, organising secretary of the All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD), said, “There are queues of nearly 200-300 people outside the offices of these few remdesivir distributors. But we don’t have enough medicine to meet the demand. This has resulted in a major problem at the distributors’ offices. We asked the drug control department for more security. It has become extremely difficult for these distributors because their contact information has now been made public, even though only a few are allowed retail sales of the medicine.”
There are 30 Remdesivir distributors in Delhi.
A senior official with the government’s drug control department said there have been complaints from distributors of people queuing outside their offices and misbehaving with them.
“We allowed a few distributors to sell the medicines directly to people. But this has resulted in a law-and-order situation outside some offices. This is why we have requested the police to provide adequate security,” said a senior government official aware of the matter.
“We are constantly monitoring the situation at all drug centres and hospitals. The local police are sensitised in these areas and appropriate arrangements will be made as required,” said the Delhi Police’s spokesperson Chinmoy Biswal.