Drug firms resume supplying Remdesivir in Karnataka


Pharma majors Cipla and Jubilant resumed supplying anti-viral drug Remdesivir in Karnataka a day after the state government warned them of legal action if they failed to deliver in 24 hours, said state Revenue Minister R. Ashoka on Wednesday.

“No shortage of Remdesivir in the state, as both drug makers have resumed supplying the state’s quota of vials after they were served notice on Tuesday for delaying their deliver,” Ashoka told reporters here.

Though the Union government on May 1 ordered Jubilant to deliver 32,000 vials and Cipla 30,000 vials of the drug to the state by May 9, they supplied only 17,601 vials and 10,846 vials till May 8.

Refuting charges by the opposition parties (Congress and JD-S) that testing had declined in the state, Ashoka said hospitals and diagnostic labs have been directed to test all symptomatic, Influenza-like illness (ILI) and Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) patients.

“Even primary contacts of each Covid positive patients will be tested. We have advised also pregnant women to take the RT-PCR test 2 weeks before the delivery date for Covid symptoms, if any,” said the senior minister.

The state health department has set up a 24×7 call centre to offer free hearse van to ferry bodies of Covid patients to crematoria in and around Bengaluru.

“Family members of Covid victims can dial the call centre’s helpline number (84959-98495) for a free hearse van to transport the bodies to crematoria for last rites,” said Ashoka.

The state government has instructed the civic officials to arrange free wood for last rites, as Covid victims have to be given dignified cremation or burial.

The state government has also directed private hospitals to reserve 50 per cent of their beds and private medical colleges 75 per cent of their beds for treating Covid patients referred by the health department.

“Legal action will be taken under the Disaster Management Act against private hospitals and medical colleges not complying with our order to keep specified number of beds for treating Covid patients referred by us,” asserted Ashoka.

According to the state health bulletin, 39,998 new cases were registered in a day, taking the state’s Covid tally to 20,53,191, including 5,92,182 till date.

As epicentre of the pandemic in the state, Bengaluru reported 16,286 fresh cases in a day, taking its Covid tally to 9,99,805, including 3,60,619 active cases.

The infection claimed lives of 517 patients, including 275 in Bengaluru, taking the state’s death toll to 20,368 and the city’s toll to 8,964 since the pandemic broke out in mid-March a year ago.