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Coronavirus | Kashmir hospitals run out of COVID-19 drugs

Official sources said a quota of only 10,500 vials per week had been fixed for Jammu and Kashmir by the Centre in its first allotment and distribution phase

Scores of SOS calls flooded online social media platforms on Wednesday asking for Remdesivir and Tocilizumab, administered to COVID-19 patients, as stocks of these medicines ran out in the Kashmir valley’s main hospitals, at the forefront of the battle against the coronavirus.

Official sources said a quota of only 10,500 vials per week had been fixed for Jammu and Kashmir by the Centre in its first allotment and distribution phase.

The family of Ieeba Khan, 30, could not find Tocilizumab at the Chest Disease Hospital, the main government-run hospital catering to COVID-19 patients.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently spoke to the head of the hospital, Dr. Naveed Nazir, in his ‘Mann ki Baat’ programme.

Officials told The Hindu that the Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, the Shri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital, the Chest Disease Hospital and the Jawahar Lal Nehru Memorial Hospital did not have adequate supply of both drugs.

“It’s going to impact the mortality rate among the severely sick patients,” a senior doctor told The Hindu on the condition of anonymity.

Meanwhile, Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Dr. Raghav Langer has directed all drug control officers to ensure strict market enforcement and stringent action “in case of any instance of hoarding, black marketing by the unscrupulous elements, so that the injections reach to the genuine patients in the government hospitals and designated private Covid hospitals”.

The Drug Controller has been asked to submit daily logs of sales and purchases.

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