HC deplores state govt’s failure to procure more Remdesivir vials
The Nagpur bench of the Bombay high court on Tuesday expressed exasperation at the failure of the state to provide sufficient Remdesivir vials to Nagpur and adjoining districts even though the Central Committee had allocated nearly 4.35 lakh vials for 10 days. When the state argued the Centre had not sent vials as per the state-wise chart, the HC bench admonished the state for not pursuing it with the Centre. The next hearing has been scheduled on April 29.
A division bench of justice Sunil Shukre and justice Avinash Gharote, while hearing the suo motu public interest litigation, was informed that on April 24, following its April 23 directions to the state to seek allocation of more Remdesivir injections for 10 days from April 21 to 30 in view of the shortage being faced by Maharashtra, the Central committee had revised the allocation list. The committee had increased the allocation to 4.35 lakh vials for the period. The central committee order dated April 24 required the state to take certain steps and place its supply order with the manufacturer. However, advocate S P Bhandarkar, amicus curiae, submitted that despite orders from the bench the shortage persisted and even oxygen and beds for the growing number of Covid-19 patients were in short supply. The government pleader for the state informed the bench that nodal officer for the state of Maharashtra has been appointed and he was coordinating with other nodal officers and manufacturers. The bench then asked the nodal officer to file an affidavit to place on record steps in pursuance of April 24 central government order.
The bench questioned why private pharmacists in Vidarbha were allowed to directly place orders with manufacturers. The state further informed that apart from sourcing Remdesivir and other life-saving drugs locally, it was also planning to import from Bangladesh, Singapore, Hong Kong etc and permission was sought from the Centre and a response was awaited.
On being informed of Covid care centres not making Remdesivir available for needy patients, the court directed the district collector Nagpur and NMC to carry out individual checks at different hospitals. The bench also directed the DC Nagpur to set up control room of 30-40 officials on 8 hour shifts to oversee allocation of beds and oxygen cylinders. The bench also sought to know why the manufacturing plants around Nagpur had not supplied oxygen. The bench was then told that the collector of Nagpur had messages that from Wednesday Nagpur would get 110- 130 MT oxygen from Bhilai Steel Plant, as per earlier order.