The Madhya Pradesh government has decided to procure Remdesivir injections so that they could be provided free-of-cost for the treatment of critical COVID-19 patients from the economically weaker sections, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said today.
Remdesivir is considered a key anti-viral drug in the fight against COVID-19, especially in adult patients with severe complications.
Mr Chouhan said the state government has also decided to set up one COVID-19 care centre in each district of state so that the infected people (who are advised home quarantine) having smaller houses can stay there.
He also said private hospitals will need to put up the rates of tests and treatment outside their facilities.
Mr Chouhan announced various measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus at the end of his 24-hour-long “sit-in” which was aimed at raising the awareness among people about following the COVID-19 prevention guidelines.
“During the interaction with people, some of them raised concerns about the price and availability of Remdesivir injections. So, I have issued directives that a protocol be set for its use,” Mr Chouhan said after the end of his “Swasthya Agrah” (health request) campaign at the Minto Hall in Bhopal.
As part of the protocol, doctors should determine which patient needs the Remdesivir injection, he said.
“This injection (Remdesivir) should be administered whenever necessary. I directed the officials to procure this injection at the government-level to deal with its shortage, so that the poor and middle-class people can be provided the injection free of cost,” he said.
At several places, the Remdesivir injections are being administered without any need, he noted.
Mr Chouhan informed that about 4,000 new cases of coronavirus were reported in MP on Wednesday, and said the second wave of the viral infection in the state is “stronger and entire families are getting infected”.
A lockdown is the last solution and before resorting to it, all other steps should be taken, he said.
“I believe that people can protect themselves if they adopt COVID-appropriate behaviour… I want ‘Meri Suraksha Mera Mask’ to become a public movement,” the chief minister said.
The administration cannot fight this battle alone, the society also needs to come forward, he said, while informing about his interaction with religious leaders and social workers from across the state during his sit-in.
Mr Chouhan said 34,000 people have registered themselves to serve as “volunteers” for assistance in the vaccination process, to spread awareness about the mask rule and other prevention norms, and help patients in home and institutional quarantine, he said.
The number of COVID-19 patients has been going up and the state government will increase the availability of beds to 36,000 from the present 24,000. This will include 15,000 beds providing free treatment, he said.
Mr Chouhan said the state government is also taking the help of private hospitals and allotting beds there.
In Bhopal, the government is reserving two private hospitals for the free treatment of people from lower and middle income groups.
Similarly, hospitals will be reserved in other affected cities of the state, he added.
Mr Chouhan said people have also raise concerns about the higher rates of treatment in private hospitals.
“The state government has decided that such hospitals will need to display the rates of treatment and tests outside their facilities. We need their help. We will take action if such hospitals overcharge the patients. This is not the time to make money,” the chief minister said.
He also announced to run the “Kill Corona Campaign-2” in rural areas of the state under which house-to-house survey will be carried out to control the spread of the coronavirus.
Mr Chouhan also said a protocol will be prepared for the admission of coronavirus patients in hospitals. “Those who don’t need hospitalisation will be quarantined at home and monitored through video calls twice a day,” he said.
Health officials will also monitor such patients by conducting surprise visits to their homes, he added.