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DRDO hospitals, ramping up drug production: Centre steps in to help state govts battle covid

Amidst the surge in fresh Covid-19 cases, the Gujarat government in collaboration with the DRDO is to set up a 900-bed full Covid care facility in Ahmedabad. The hospital will have 150 ICU beds with 150 ventilators and will open within 15 days at the Gujarat University Convention Centre on the GMDC ground, Ahmedabad.

Scientists from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur had recently said that the number of daily new infections was likely to peak around April for this ongoing second wave of Covid-19 pandemic. The coronavirus cases are already off the charts as India recorded more than 2 lakh new Covid-19 cases in 24 hours on Wednesday.

In view of this several Central agencies and ministries have stepped in to flatten the curve.

DRDO to set up Covid hospital in Delhi

Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) will be reestablishing a Covid-19 hospital with 500 beds equipped with ICU facilities in Delhi Cantonment. The facility will be operational by Sunday with an initial capacity of 250 beds. The centre will have doctors by both military and paramilitary forces for treating patients, as informed by DRDO officials.

Delhi has been the worst hit with 17,282 new cases recorded in the past 24 hours. With over 50,000 active cases, the positivity rate has touched 15.92% and recorded 104 new deaths.

DRDO to set up a 900 bed facility in Ahmedabad

Amidst the surge in fresh Covid-19 cases, the Gujarat government in collaboration with the DRDO is to set up a 900-bed full Covid care facility in Ahmedabad. The hospital will have 150 ICU beds with 150 ventilators and will open within 15 days at the Gujarat University Convention Centre on the GMDC ground, Ahmedabad.

If necessary, 500 beds will be added later after assessing the situation. The facility will have a help desk as well as food facilities for patients, doctors, and paramedics and access to toilets and bathrooms for both the patients and the medical staff.

Approval to ramp up manufacturing of Remdesivir

To tackle the shortage of anti-viral drug Remdesivir in the wake of growing numbers in new cases, Union Minister Mansukh Mandaviya gave the approval to ramp up the production of the drug. Fast-track approval was given for seven additional sites to six manufacturers with a production capacity of 10 lakh vials per month. Another 30 lakh vials production per month is lined up.

The approval will ensure the production of around 78 lakh vials/month. An additional measure to ban the export of the drug will ensure enough supply for the country.

Four-day Tika Utsav

The four-day-long vaccination program ‘Tika Utsav‘ started with much fanfare and extensive promotions by the Central government with the aim to encourage people above 45 years of age to get vaccinated at the earliest. The initiative was fairly successful with over 40 lakh doses administered just on the last day of Utsav.

The Tika Utsav was a big boost to India’s vaccination drive as India has now administered over 11 crore vaccine doses in just over 85 days.

Govt fast tracks emergency approvals for foreign vaccines

The Central Government on Tuesday expedited the process of emergency approvals for foreign-produced Covid-19 vaccines that have received Emergency Use Approval (EUA) in other countries in order to boost the vaccination coverage in the country.

Russia’s Sputnik-V vaccine also received emergency use approval from the Subject Expert Committee of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization and now it awaits the final approval from the Drugs Controller General of India. The vaccine is likely to be imported to India by the next month, as per reports, apart from local productions by Dr Reddy’s laboratories.

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