Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla addressing a special briefing on Thursday. (Photo/ANI)
Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla addressing a special briefing on Thursday. (Photo/ANI)

MEA working on priority to bridge short-term shortage of oxygen, Remdesivir

ANI | Updated: Apr 29, 2021 16:32 IST


New Delhi [India], April 29 (ANI): The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Thursday that it is working on top priority to bridge the short-term supply gap of oxygen and critical medicines like Remdesivir.
In the coming days, India is expecting to source more than 7 lakh doses of Remdesivir from various manufacturers and expedite supplies of raw material for Indian manufacturers.
The country is witnessing an unprecedented surge in COVID-19 cases in the second wave of pandemic. Oxygen and Remdesivir are used in treatment of patients under medical supervision.
"Gilead Sciences has offered us 450,000 doses of Remdesivir. It is very essential in today's context. We are also offered 300,000 doses of Favipiravir some from Russia and UAE. Tocilizumab was very essential and part of our priority list, which we are getting from Germany and Switzerland. Roche has also agreed to expedite their raw material supplies. So we are also expediting raw material supplies not only for the production of Remdesivir but also vaccines," Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla told reporters here during a special press conference.
He said Gilead Sciences is "directly guiding us" from where to procure doses and the US government has also assured India to do its best to meet demands.
Indian manufacturers currently generate around 70,000 Remdesivir a day but they need raw materials inputs to ramp it up to 4 lakh a day, which is the present requirement. Shringla said that MEA is in touch with all the international manufacturers and providers of raw material.
"We have made all efforts to reach out to all sources of Remdesivir. Gilead Sciences or other authorized manufacturers in Egypt and Israel. We are in direct contact with Gilead Sciences and they ccwill provide 4.5 lakh on a gratis basis. We also contacted Egypt from where we expect to procure 4 lakh doses. We know Bangladesh is also producing and there are also stocks in Uzbekistan and UAE. Wherever there are stocks, we are contacting them and trying to get it in our country to cover the short-term gap," he said.
Shringla also said that as many as 40 countries are already committed to help India tackle the deadly second wave.
Various legs of government are working together and empowered groups have also been formed to coordinate and expedite the process of procurement and delivery according to the needs, he said, adding that multi-ministries and multi-agencies are involved in this process.
The Foreign Secretary told reporters that India is looking for more than 500 oxygen generating plants in the coming days and weeks. India is also looking to get over 4000 oxygen concentrators, more than 10,000 oxygen cylinders, and 17 oxygen cryogenic tankers.
"All in all, international cooperation is a very vital part of the meeting and bridging the immediate requirement. We obviously are making our own efforts to step up our own capacity," he added. (ANI)

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