While the death toll from novel coronavirus disease(COVID-19) has escalated to 1770, the Free Medicine Scheme run by the Gehlot government in Rajasthan is about to disrupt.
According to a joint letter written by ten major companies who supply essential medicines to the Rajasthan Medical Services Corporation under this much-lauded scheme, the raw materials for these medicines are imported from China. The letter also read that as the companies are now left with stocks for just 15 days, they should not be penalised in case there is any delay in their supplies.
The companies are now facing a tough situation as the import from China were cancelled due to virus threat. Nearly 80% API (the raw material used to make medicine ) used for the manufacture of free medicine is imported from China.
“We are trying to ensure that the supply of Free Medicines to patients in Rajasthan is not affected and they get the medicines they need. For that, we have issued directives to the suppliers. But given the special situation if they are unable to procure the raw materials and can’t make any alternate arrangements, then we shall take further action keeping in mind the tender conditions on which they work,” said an official.
According to the sources, the crisis not only threatens Rajasthan but also the drug and medicine suppliers across India. India imports 57 types of molecules from China. Currently, India has sufficient stocks to last till April this year. But what makes the situation worse is that there have been no imports from China for over a month. If the situation does not improve quickly, availability of a wide variety of medicines ranging from antibiotics and hormones to vitamins could be badly hit in the country.
“If supplies from China are not resumed within a month, India could soon face a grave crisis,” reads the primary report submitted by an Expert Committee of eight technical departments.
At the same time India’s second coronavirus patient, a student treated for the novel coronavirus in the state was discharged after two consecutive test results turned negative. But the patient would remain under home quarantine for ten days. India’s first coronavirus patient is awaiting test results from Pune NIV after samples screened at Alappuzha centre of the institute had returned negative last week.
A student from Alappuzha was discharged after his two consecutive samples sent for testing at the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune turned out to be negative.
Source: The New Indian Express, Times Of India.