Considering separate facilities’ option to inject Remdesivir to free up hospital beds: Gujarat Govt


As the surge in Covid cases exceed the increase in bed capacity and the state’s administration emphasises that it is “trying its best”, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel on Thursday announced that it is considering administering Remdesivir to patients with mild symptoms at separate facilities, over the five-day course of the anti-viral, in a bid to free up hospital beds. Meanwhile, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation on Thursday notified that SVP Hospital has commenced its operations as one of the nodal establishments from where private hospitals can procure Remdesivir injection and in Vadodara, two nodal officers were appointed to ensure the availability of Remdesivir injection, which has been in short supply for the last few days.

During a press conference at the U N Mehta Institute of Cardiology and Research Centre, Patel, who holds the health portfolio, said that it has been observed that nearly 25-30 percent of the total Covid hospitalised patients are such, who are admitted solely to have the antiviral Remdesivir administered and have no other tertiary care requirements such as oxygen support etc.

“For this 25-30 per cent of patients, the state government, health department and municipal corporation are making arrangements so that they can be administered Remdesivir without hospitalisation, so that there beds available for more critical patients. It has thus been decided that in Ahmedabad, wherever possible, be it community halls or some other facility, such patients will be given the injection free of cost under the expertise of doctors, will be kept for two to three hours for observation after injection, and following doctors’ advice, will be permitted to leave. They can then come the next day for the next dose and complete the entire five-day course this way. We are thinking of making such arrangements in the ambulance, at nursing homes, so that the burden from hospitals decrease” said Patel.

On April 5, the state government had decided that private hospitals that have a memorandum of understanding with the civic body for treating Covid-19 patients, could purchase the injection from three hospitals — Ahmedabad Civil Hospital, AMC-run SVP Hospital and GMERS Sola — at the government-determined rates. On April 8, AMC announced that SVP Hospital has commenced such supply and for any such requirements, the hospital can be approached 24 hours. However a long check-list, including patient details on the said private hospital’s letterhead, Covid19 report, doctor’s prescription, brought by a said hospital’s authorised person in-person at SVP Hospital, shall be necessary for purchasing the injection. Two nodal officers were also appointed at SVP hospital for coordinating the same, each on a 12-hour shift.

In Vadodara, Officer on Special Duty Vinod Rao issued a notification on Thursday to appoint two nodal officers to ensure the availability of Remdesivir injection, which has been in short supply for the last few days.

Rao appointed RA Patel, Deputy Director of Department of Industrial Safety and Health (DISH), Vadodara as the nodal officer on Thursday afternoon but evening, another additional nodal officer was appointed as Patel is said to be on medical leave due to Covid19 infection. RB Trivedi, Regional Officer, Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB), Vadodara took over as the nodal officer to ensure the availability and equitable distribution of the drug.

Trivedi said,”As of today, we have 2000 vials of Remdesivir available. We will get more supply in a day or two as the government is being extremely proactive in ensuring the availability of the injection. We have decided that now, all 205 private hospitals empanelled in Vadodara will send the requisition letter to the nodal officers, every evening. We will decide the distribution of the available vials of Remdesivir to the hospitals based on the requisition and the need for the patient. The requisition will have to include details of the patient as well as the justification for the need to have Remdesivir administered.”

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