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India Coronavirus Dispatch: Govt assessing stock of antiviral remdesivir

Demand for plasma rises in Delhi amid case spike, why Centre needs to shore up vaccine supply, nearly 97,000 cases reported on Tuesday-news relevant to India's fight against Covid-19

Coronavirus | Coronavirus Tests | Coronavirus Vaccine

Bharath Manjesh  |  New Delhi 

remdesivir, coronavirus, drugs, covid, pharma
Representational image

Nearly 97,000 fresh cases reported

India reported 96,982 fresh infections on Tuesday, taking the cumulative caseload to 1,26,86,049, according to a report in the Scroll. The country saw 446 deaths due to the pandemic, taking the death toll to 1,65,547, according to central health ministry data. The active caseload is at 7,88,223, while the total recoveries have surged to 1,17,32,279. As many as 83.1 million shots have been administered since the nationwide inoculation programme kicked off on January 16. Of these, 43,00,966 were given on Monday. Read more here

Centre assessing stock of remdesivir amid Covid surge

Amid a surge in Covid-19 cases, the central government has begun to assess the availability of remdesivir, an antiviral drug, a report in ThePrint said. Remdesivir is a highly sought-after experimental drug to treat Covid-19 patients. The Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP) has kicked off the drive to check available stocks in states which are reporting high Covid cases. DoP works under the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers, and the drug price and availability regulator, National Pharmaceuticals Pricing Authority (NPPA). Read more here

Delhi: Demand for plasma rises amid Covid case spike

Delhi has been witnessing a spike in the demand for plasma over the past month amid a surge in cases with many families lining up at plasma banks even as donations have fallen, a report in The Indian Express said. Plasma banks, however, have said they have enough plasma available at the moment. While only 1-2 people were coming in February, March saw around 10 patients a day needed plasma, according to hospitals and plasma banks in the city. Dr SK Sarin, head of the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences, said: “We have been wondering about the situation: that if there is any resurgence of the pandemic, we will be in trouble. We would need donors who have recovered to come and donate but we would not deny anyone in need of plasma.” Read more here (

Kerala: Election impact likely to reflect on Covid case graph in coming weeks

The effect of the ongoing campaign for the upcoming state assembly elections in Kerala is likely to reflect in its case graph in the coming weeks, a report in The Hindu said. “The State’s epidemic curve has not shifted yet but it looks poised to climb further. If one were to look at districts, cases have gone up by 11-30% in many northern districts, especially Kozhikode, Kannur, Malappuram, Wayanad and Palakkad. We expected cases to rise post-elections but the graph has already begun to rise,” a public health expert pointed out. Read more here

OPINION: India needs to shore up vaccine supply

The vaccines currently being administered in India—Bharat Biotech's Covaxin and the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine Covishield—can't be produced quickly enough to meet both domestic and global needs, an opinion column in Bloomberg said. Therefore the central government needs to approve some of the vaccines being administered in other countries to shore up supply. These vaccines include those from Pfizer Inc, Moderna and especially the logistically easier, single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The Centre could also pursue licensing agreements if these firms cannot expand production fast enough. Read more here

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First Published: Tue, April 06 2021. 14:00 IST