Centre Prohibits Exports of Injection Remdesivir and Remdesivir Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients till the COVID situation in the country improves

Ministry of Health via PIB India:

India is witnessing a recent surge in COVID cases. As on 11.04.2021, there are 11.08 lakh active COVID cases and they are steadily increasing. This has led to a sudden spike in demand for Injection Remdesivir used in treatment of COVID patients. There is a potential of further increase in this demand in the coming days.

Seven Indian companies are producing Injection Remdesivir under voluntary licensing agreement with M/s. Gilead Sciences, USA. They have an installed capacity of about 38.80 lakh units per month.

In light of the above, Government of India has prohibited the exports of Injection Remdesivir and Remdesivir Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) till the situation improves.

In addition, Government of India has taken the following steps to ensure easy access of hospital and patients to Remdesivir:

All domestic manufactures of Remdesivir have been advised to display on their website, details of their stockists/ distributors to facilitate access to the drug.

Drugs inspectors and other officers have been directed to verify stocks and check their malpractices and also take other effective actions to curb hoarding and black marketing.

The State Health Secretaries will review this with the Drug Inspectors of the respective States/UTs.

The Department of Pharmaceuticals has been in contact with the domestic manufacturers to ramp up the production of Remdesivir.

The Government of India has also advised the States that the extant  “National Clinical Management Protocol for COVID-19″, which is based on evidence, has been developed after many interactions by Committee of Experts, and is the guiding document for treatment of Covid-19 patients. 

In the Protocol, Remdesivir is listed as an Investigational Therapy, i.e. where informed and shared decision making is essential, besides taking note of contra indications  mentioned  in the  detailed guidelines.

The States and UTs have been advised that these steps should again be communicated to all hospitals, both in public and private sector, and compliance monitored.

Increasing vaccination coverage is the need of the hour. The youth must be vaccinated. Pfizer is planning to vaccinate adolescents between 12 to 15 years of age: CM, Uddhav Thackeray

CMO Maharashtra:

Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray today held a virtual meeting with leaders of major political parties and cabinet colleagues to discuss the COVID situation in the State and the mitigation measures.

He made the following points:

To break the COVID transmission chain, it is imperative that strict restrictions must be imposed for a certain period of time.

The first priority will be given to saving lives. If this is a public health emergency, then the priority will be health of citizens & their lives.

The Leader of Opposition has made some good points. They will be considered earnestly.

The State Government will act on suggestions like availability of Remdesivir, availability of test reports sooner from the labs, & precise planning to make oxygen supply available.

In last year’s lockdown, people were at home. Hence, tracing patients and most of their contacts was easier. Now, everything has opened up. There are practical difficulties in doing so.

Increasing vaccination coverage is the need of the hour. The youth must be vaccinated. Pfizer is planning to vaccinate adolescents between 12 to 15 years of age.

Everyone has agreed to ensure that the daily wage earners, labourers and the working classes are not hit hard while imposing stricter measures. Planning is underway to ensure this.

The surge in the daily number of patients is rapid, if a decision about the lockdown is not taken today, a lockdown-like situation will automatically come into force tomorrow.

On one hand, there is public sentiment, and on the other, the Corona pandemic. In this situation, we will have to bear some hardship to win this battle.

I am speaking to people across various sectors. Yesterday, I spoke to directors of private hospitals. Everyone is ready to co-operate with the Government. The opinions of the members of the task force are also being considered.

By prioritising the health of the people of the state, I appeal to all party leaders, to extend their full cooperation to the decisions taken by the state government.

The last time, we had brought active COVID cases from 10 lakh to 1.25 lakh. The strategy that made it possible is equally effective even today: PM Narendra Modi

PM Shri Narendra Modi reviews COVID-19 situation and vaccination progress with Chief Ministers. Speech excerpts via BJP India:

The country has already crossed the time of peak of the first wave. The growth rate this time is faster than the first wave.

People have turned casual compared to the last time. Administration, too, seems to be lazy.

Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and other states have crossed the peak of first wave.

Some other states are also moving towards this quickly. It is a worrying and serious concern for all of us.

All of you must use the experiences from the first wave to combat the second wave. Today, we have all the resources and thus, it is a challenge for our governance. We must focus on micro-containment zones.

The last time, we had brought active COVID cases from 10 lakh to 1.25 lakh. The strategy that made it possible is equally effective even today.

Our experience says ‘Test, track and treat’ is the mantra to go forward. We must also focus on COVID appropriate behaviour and COVID management.

We have to increase testing a lot. We must bring down positive rate below 5%. Our target is to do 70% RT-PCR tests.

Our target should be to test at least 30 contacts in 72 hours per COVID positive patient. The borders of containment zones should be particular and not vague.

We have crossed the mark of vaccinating 40 lakh people in one day. Criteria set by the world’s most developed nations is no different to the ones set by India.

11th April is the birth anniversary of Jyotiba Phule and 14th is the birth anniversary of Baba Saheb Ambedkar. Can we do a mass vaccination programme from 11-14th April for the eligible people with zero wastage and use our resources optimally?

We can all do our bit to help shops on our street & order for home delivery from them, not just giant e-comm sites : Anand Mahindra

Anand Mahindra, Chairman, Mahindra Group :

There is a pandemic hidden within the pandemic: Mental Health.

Covid city dashboards cover the availability of hospital beds but not access to trained therapists. There was already a woeful lack of them, but they are now overwhelmed.

No one is immune to psychological stress, but the most affected are the self-employed & the small shop & business owners who were beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel & now are faced with the prospect of that light receding.

The strength of micro-communities has always been an antidote to mental stress.

We can all do our bit to help shops on our street & order for home delivery from them, not just giant e-comm sites.

We can all lend an ear & a shoulder to our friends who run small enterprises.

On World Health Day, let us keep the focus on fighting COVID-19 by taking all possible precautions : PM Narendra Modi

Narendra Modi, Prime Minister :

World Health Day is a day to reaffirm our gratitude and appreciation to all those who work day and night to keep our planet healthy. It’s also a day to reiterate our commitment to supporting research and innovation in healthcare.

On World Health Day, let us keep the focus on fighting COVID-19 by taking all possible precautions including wearing a mask, regularly washing hands and following the other protocols. At the same time, do take all possible steps to boost immunity and stay fit.

The Government of India is taking numerous measures including Ayushman Bharat and PM Janaushadhi Yojana to ensure people get access to top quality and affordable healthcare. India is also conducting the world’s largest vaccination drive to strengthen the fight against COVID-19.

Maharashtra CM asks for 1.5 crore more doses of Vaccine for the state: Aaditya Thackeray

Aaditya Thackeray – Minister, Maharashtra Govt.:

CM Uddhav Thackeray ji has written to the Prime Minister to lower the age of eligibility of vaccination to 25.

This will help us vaccinate a larger population that is young and working.

He also has asked for 1.5 crore more doses for Maharashtra, as we have ramped up our vaccination.

Currently we are the leading state in vaccination.

He also expressed his gratitude to the Govt of India for accepting his earlier suggestion of lowering the age to 45 for vaccination.

Renewed focus on ‘Test, Track, Treat and Vaccinate’: Union Health Ministry

Ministry of Health via PIB India:

COVID19 Case Trajectory as on 17th March, 2021.

Rise of COVID19 cases started from March 2020 & during the month of September it crossed 97,894 cases in a day which gradually declined after mid September 2020 and reached to avg. 9 thousand cases.

It is important to note that both the contribution of active cases as well as the case fatality rate is 2 or less than 2 %.

This is significant as there are certain states which are seeing a surge

Total doses administered till date are 3.51 crore out of which 1.38 crore (All 1st doses) are administered to people aged 60 years & above and people aged 45-59 years with comorbidities.

Renewed focus on ‘Test, Track, Treat and Vaccinate’.

We are focusing on increasing the no. of tests, ensure all closed contacts traced isolated and tested within 72 hrs. and undertake priority vaccinations.

In the VC with PM Narendra Modi Ji, sought review of immunisation strategy: Capt Amarinder Singh

In the VC with PM Narendra Modi Ji, sought review of immunisation strategy to vaccinate all age groups in affected areas & also called for occupation-based immunisation.

This will not only help in checking super spreaders but also the normalisation of critical activities.

Capt amarinder singh – chief minister

Our Government treats Health Care in a holistic manner rather than in pieces. We adopted an integrated approach from Prevention to Cure : PM Modi

PM addresses webinar on effective implementation of Budget provisions in
Health sector :

  • The budget allocated to the health sector in this year’s budget is unprecedented.
  • This year’s Budget reflects our commitment to provide health facilities to all.
  • This is a symbol of our commitment to provide better healthcare to every citizen.
  • India has been successful in saving precious lives.
  • Our government treats Health Care in a holistic manner rather than in pieces. Therefore, we started focusing on Wellness, not just Treatment in the country. We adopted an integrated approach from Prevention to Cure.
  • Our goal is to prepare for future crisis.
  • Holistic, integrated approach towards health sector
  • Quantity and quality growth in healthcare facilities and professions

Centre rushes High Level teams to Kerala and Maharashtra for supporting the States in public health interventions for COVID19 management

Source :PIB

Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has decided to depute two high-level multi-disciplinary teams to Kerala and Maharashtra to collaborate with the State Health Authorities in instituting public health measures for COVID-19 management.

At a time when almost all States/Union Territories are showing a declining trend in number of cases and deaths due to COVID-19, Kerala and Maharashtra continue to report large number of cases. At present, these two States alone are contributing to almost 70% active COVID-19 cases in the country.

The Central team to Maharashtra comprises of experts drawn from National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) and Dr. RML Hospital, New Delhi. The Kerala team shall comprise of senior official from Ministry of Health & Family Welfare along with experts from Regional Office of Health & Family Welfare, Thiruvananthapuram and Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi.

The teams shall work closely with the State Health Departments, take a stock of on ground situation and recommend necessary public health interventions to contain the large number of cases being reported by these States.

Shashi Tharoor India News

Spoke at length with Kerala Health Minister Shailaja Teacher on the COVID19 situation in the state: Shashi Tharoor

Shashi Tharoor – MP, Congress leader :

Spoke at length with Kerala Health Minister Shailaja Teacher on the COVID19 situation in the state.

Expressed my alarm that we’ve 45% of India’s current cases.

She assured me that mortality rate is still low, ICU occupancy is at 50% &ventilator use only 15%. Situation under control.

Took the opportunity to discuss the expansion of the Panchakarma Ayurveda Hospital & conveyed environmentalists’ concerns about cutting of trees to permit construction.

She promised to look closely again, & assured me that rare trees would be protected, & 25 would be planted for every tree cut.

India’s vaccines are built on technology that is tried and tested in India. These vaccines adapt to Indian conditions. They will give India a decisive victory in the fight against Corona : PM Narendra Modi

PM Modi launches pan-India rollout of COVID-19 vaccination drive :

Today, many of those scientists who had been involved in making the vaccine against Corona for the past several months deserve special praise.

It usually takes years to make a vaccine. But in such a short time, India developed not one, but two Made in India vaccines

All the healthcare workers and frontline workers will get the vaccine first.

The government will take care of the expenses of COVID vaccination for 3 crore healthcare and frontline workers in India.

The entire vaccination process will happen on CoWin App.

Don’t let your guard down after the first dose, keep wearing mask and follow all protocols.

I would like to remind you again that it is very important to have 2 doses of corona vaccine.Between the 1st & 2nd doses, a gap of about 1 month will be kept.Only 2 weeks after the 2nd dose,your body will develop the necessary strength against the corona.

Never before has this large-scale vaccination campaign been run in history. There are more than 100 countries in the world whose population is less than 30 million. And India is vaccinating 3 crore people in its first phase of vaccination.

Only India, China and America are vaccinating so many people. Phase 2 will cover 30 crore Indians

In the second phase, we have to take it to the number of 30 crores. Those who are elderly, who are suffering from serious illness, will get vaccinated at this stage.

India’s medical system & our scientists have a lot of credibility throughout the world. We have gained this trust because of our track record.

Our fight with Corona has been about self-confidence and Aatma Nirbharta. To fight this difficult battle, we never gave up our belief and confidence.

India’s vaccines are built on technology that is tried and tested in India. These vaccines adapt to Indian conditions. They will give India a decisive victory in the fight against Corona.

Indian vaccines are much cheaper than foreign vaccines but are equally good. There are some vaccines abroad, whose single dose cost up to ₹5,000 & have to be kept in freeze at -70 degree temperature

GoI should reconsider the decision to resuming flights from Britain after 7 January : Ashok Gehlot

Ashok Gehlot, CM, Rajasthan :

Cases of new corona strain from Britain are increasing in India. GoI should reconsider the decision to resuming flights from Britain after 7 January.

If flights from foreign countries were stopped in January, 2020 at the beginning of Corona, this situation probably would not have happened today.

GoI must ensure that after resuming the flights from Britain, new strain does not spread like the old virus.

I appeal to all who have come back from Britain in the recent times, should come further for their corona test to prevent this new strain from spreading further.

I appeal to the people not to be misguided by rumours regarding safety & efficacy of COVID19 vaccine. We will not compromise on any protocol before approving a vaccine : Dr Harsh Vardhan

Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Health Minister :

The preparations for the launch of COVID Vaccine is now complete. Before the announcements of the dates of the vaccination it is important to inspect and review the Dry run.

Starting today, the Dry run for the vaccine begins in 259 centres in 116 districts of the Country.

Reviewed the dry run of administering the COVID19vaccine at GTB hospital, Delhi today.

Guidelines for this nationwide dry run have been updated based on the feedback from the insightful pilot dry run held in 4 states.

Vaccine hesitancy was an issue even when we started polio immunisation drive but we must remember its success.

I appeal to the people not to be misguided by rumours regarding safety & efficacy of COVID19 vaccine. We will not compromise on any protocol before approving a vaccine.

We will not compromise on any protocol before approving a vaccine.

Dr Harsh Vardhan

We have trained about two thousand Master Trainers for the Vaccination. Health workers have also been trained in all States and Union Territories.

VP M Venkaiah Naidu

CCMB Director informs Vice President that new COVID19 strains are less likely to change efficacy of vaccines

No evidence of worse outcomes for patients although strains are more infective

Vice President’s Secretariat via PIB India :

The Director of the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Dr. Rakesh Mishra today met the Vice President of India, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu in Hyderabad and briefed him about the new strains of SARS-Cov-2 found in the United Kingdom and South Africa recently.

Shri Mishra apprised the Vice President that the mutations in the new strains are less likely to change the efficacy of the vaccines under development.

Besides, there is no evidence that suggests the strains are associated with worse outcomes for the patients, although they are more infective.

The same disease management strategies are expected to work for the variants too.

The Vice President sought to know about the likely impact of the new strains in India and the work being carried out on various aspects of the novel corona virus at CCMB. Dr. K. Lakshmi Rao, senior principal scientist at CCMB was also present.

Dr. Mishra informed the Vice President that investigations were underway to find out whether the new strains are present in India.

Making a presentation to the Vice President on the work being done at the CCMB on SARS-CoV-2, he said that the new strain was 71% more infectious than the other strains. 

A parallel strain identified in South Africa suggests that it affects younger people more, though more thorough research is required, he explained.

He explained that the analysis of the genomes sequenced by CCMB and other researchers in the country has revealed that the initial spread of the virus in India was mainly due to novel India specific clade, named I/A3i clade.

The I/A3i clade had likely entered India from other Southeast Asian countries.

The analysis by CCMB had further revealed that, with time, the weaker A3i clade was eventually replaced by the A2a clade, which is also the globally prevalent strain.

He said CCMB was the first non-ICMR lab to start testing samples for the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. It also established SoPs for other research institutes and universities for testing.

It has trained more than 200 personnel from medical hospitals and other testing centres on the testing protocols.

CCMB itself has tested more than 50,000 samples so far by RT-PCR method. Together, all CSIR labs have tested more than 7,00,000 samples thus far.

Dr. Mishra also said that CCMB’s dry swab Direct RT-PCR method has been approved by ICMR. With partners like Apollo Hospitals, the kits will be manufactured in large numbers and they will reach masses through Spice Health’s mobile testing labs.

PM Narendra Modi visits Zydus Biotech Park in Ahmedabad

PM Narendra Modi reaches Gujarat’s Ahmedabad as he begins his 3-city visit to review Corona Vaccine facilities; he visited the Zydus Biotech Park first, and later he will visit the Bharat Biotech in Hyderabad and Serum Institute of India in Pune.

PM Narendra Modi visits Zydus Biotech Park in Ahmedabad to review the development of COVID19 vaccine candidate ZyCOV-D.

PM Narendra Modi greets the people gathered outside Zydus Biotech Park in Ahmedabad.

Union Ministers Amit Shah Dr Harsh Vardhan Delhi Covid19

Mobile Testing Vans of ICMR DELHI & Union Health Ministry to be deployed at vulnerable spots in Delhi: Dr Harsh Vardhan

Mobile Testing Vans of ICMR DELHI & Union Health Ministry to be deployed at vulnerable spots in Delhi as part of the measures to address the unprecedented surge of COVID19 cases in Delhi:

Dr Harsh Vardhan – Union Health Minister

To address the unprecedented surge of COVID19 cases in Delhi, Union Home Minister Sh Amit Shah Ji convened a high-level meeting today.

I along with Lt Gov Delhi Sh Anil Baijal Ji & Delhi CM Sh Arvind Kejriwal Ji participated in the meeting

Delhi has witnessed a huge surge in daily active cases which is likely to worsen over next few weeks

At the meeting it was decided that immediate remedial steps must be taken

RT-PCR tests to be doubled in Delhi

Mobile Testing Vans of ICMR DELHI & Union Health Ministry to be deployed at vulnerable spots

5000 beds to be added to Chattarpur Covid facility

Few MCD hospitals to be converted into COVID19 dedicated for treatment of COVID patients with mild symptoms

Retired Doctors, Nurses to be employed