JD-S plans to distribute DRDO’s anti-Covid drug to K’taka’s people

As Karnataka battles the second wave of Covid, Janata Dal-S leader H.D. Kumaraswamy on Tuesday said that the party was mulling buying stocks of the indigenously developed anti-Covid drug to distribute among the state’s people.

The drug, named 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG), has been developed jointly by Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS), New Delhi, a lab of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), in collaboration with Hyderabad-based pharma company Dr Reddy’s Laboratories (DRL).

During his virtual interaction with his party leaders here, Kumaraswamy, the former Chief Minister, said that distributing it among people in Karnataka is part of the party’s Covid-19 relief programme.

“But before distributing it, we shall wait and understand the oral drug’s efficacy and procure it if it was found to be effective in battling Covid -19,” he said.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Monday released the first batch of ‘2-DG’ after regulator, Drugs Controller General of India, cleared the formulation on May 1 for emergency use as an adjunct therapy in moderate to severe Covid-19 patients.

Meanwhile, on the occasion of the birthday of former Prime Minister and JD-S supremo H.D. Deve Gowda, party leader and former MLC T.A. Saravana launched a free mobile canteen service near Victoria Hospital to cater to people suffering during ongoing Covid-19 lockdown.

The service is named the ‘H.D. Deve Gowda Mobile Appaji canteen’. During the last year’s lockdown too, Saravana had launched an Appaji Canteen at Hanumanthnagar in south Bengaluru where food was distributed free.

Earlier, Deve Gowda had appealed to his followers not to celebrate his birthday, saying it was not the right time for congregations and asked them to provide relief to Covid-affected people in the state instead.