The second wave of the COVID-19 spread is way more perilous than the first one. The number of cases reported within a span of 24 hours is augmenting exponentially. This time, a lot of damage has already been caused. The health infrastructure across states; especially in the worst hit ones, has been highly jarred. People are losing their lives; hospitals do not have enough doctors to look after patients; hospitals do not have beds; two patients are forced to share a bed in places like Maharashtra and Delhi; there is a lack of oxygen supply and life- saving drugs for the patients. Even under such devastating circumstances, some opportunistic vultures have earned money through black marketing.
Criminals are being apprehended all over the country for hoarding and then black marketing Remdesivir injections which are used to treat COVID-19 patients who are hospitalized. Such cases have been reported from places like Indore, Bangalore, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, and Gurugram. The hoarding of Remdesivir injections is being carried out on the largest scale in Maharashtra which is the worst-hit state and its health infrastructure is unfortunately on the brink of collapse. The state has reported a record 67, 123 COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours.
Amid the havoc wrecked by the novel Coronavirus in Maharashtra, former state Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday accused the state police of center of harassing a Daman- based Remdesivir supplier because he had agreed to supply a consignment of the drug to the state when beseeched by the leaders of the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP). While speaking to the media, Fadnavis said, “Four days ago, we had requested Bruck Pharma to supply a stock of Remdesivir vials to Maharashtra. They said they couldn’t until permissions were given. I spoke with Union Minister Mansukh Mandviya and got Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s permission. Tonight around 9 PM, the police arrested him.”
Further, Devndra Fadnavis stated that the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Manjunath Singh told that they had inputs that some exporters had 60,000 vials and they only wanted to verify the same. Fadnavis claimed that the permission letter was already shown to the police personnel, but the DCP said that it wasn’t communicated to them earlier.
As per the former Maharashtra CM’s opinion, whatever happened was wrong and when the DCP was questioned for his action, he denied the allegations of arresting the distributor made against him and said that the Remdesivir supplier was just summoned for an inquiry in wake of the rampant black- marketing of the antiviral medication.
While talking to reporters, DCP Manjunath Singh stated, “There is a shortage of Remdesivir in the state and black- marketing is rampant. We had got information about this storage facility. Acting in good faith, we only wanted to verify the inputs. The supplier was called for an inquiry and it was not an arrest.”
Whether it was just an inquiry or an arrest; whether the DCP is saying the truth or the claims made by Fadnavis are correct, this is not the time to play politics/ pass the buck to others. The incessant politics which is being played over the disaster the COVID-19 pandemic is causing in the nation is in absolute poor taste. It is the need of the hour that all the state and the central governments join hands and work in solidarity to defeat the novel virus. But the hapless condition is that this is not the case. The non- BJP ruled states know nothing but how to blame the centre and the BJP ruled states are not tiring of throwing muck at the opposition- ruled states.
Also, when Maharashtra is facing an unprecedented level of threat, it is the least expected from both the incumbent and the opposition to continue to politicize the matter. The state has so far recorded over 37, 03, 584 cases out of which 30, 04, 391 have successfully recovered. On the other hand, 59, 551 have lost their lives to COVID-19. According to the latest MoHFW reports, in the past 24 hours, 63, 729 cases have been recorded 45, with 335 fresh recoveries and 398 deaths have been recorded.
While Fadnavis’s allegations against the state police are the new talking point, even the ruling government seems to be hell-bent on playing politics over the Remdesivir drug. Just after a day of the central government imposing a ban on the export of Remdesivir due to the sudden increase in its demand, NCP leader and Maharashtra Minister Nawab Malik blamed the centre for asking companies not to supply the drug to Maharashtra! The BJP had hit back saying that Malik should either give proof or apologize for levelling baseless and false allegations and should step down from his post.
Currently, the total number of active cases in the country stands at a whopping 6, 39,642. In these trying times when India reported its highest-ever single-day spike in the number of COVID-19 cases with over 2.34 lakh new cases and more than 1300 deaths on Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a meeting to take stock of the status of preparedness to handle the ongoing pandemic.
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#COVID-19, #Remdesivir, #Remdesivir Hoarding, #Remdesivir Black Market, #Devendra Fadnavis, #Maharashtra Government, #Nawab Malik