Centre being partial in allocating Remedesivir, oxygen: Eatala

Hyderabad: Telangana health minister Eatala Rajendar on Thursday said that the central government is being partial in allocating Remedesivir injections and oxygen cylinders to states with regard to treating COVID-19 patients.

“The central government allocated 21,551 vials of Remdesivir for ten days, from April 21 to April 30 to Telangana. During the same period, Gujarat will receive 1,63,000 injections and Madhya Pradesh will receive 92,000. This is a clear sign of partiality,” Rajendar said, adding that Telangana has patients coming in from Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and others.

Earlier this week, the state sought four lakh vials of Remedesivir injections for treating patients admitted into hospitals here. “I talked to union health minister Harsh Vardhan and he said he would only look into the matter. We will also write a letter asking the Centre to allocate all the Remedesivir produced in the state to us,” the state health minister said.

Besides, Eatala Rajendar also said that the Centre is also discriminating in the allocation of oxygen, which is under its purview. The health minister pointed out that instead of allocating oxygen from nearby steel plants such as Visakhapatnam Steel Plant and Ballari Steel Plant, the Centre allocated Rourkela Steel Plant in Odisha to Telangana.

“Since it is 1,700 km away from Telangana, it takes seven days for oxygen tankers to reach Hyderabad,” he said. Rajender said he had brought this issue to the notice of the union health minister too and requested him to allocate nearby steel plants. 

“It is disheartening to see Centre’s partiality, while we are coordinating with them, keeping politics aside,” Rajendar added. He appealed to the Center to positively respond to states seeking injections, oxygen and vaccines. The health minister also said that chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, industries minister KT Rama Rao, chief secretary Somesh Kumar, and a team of IAS officers are constantly monitoring the oxygen shortage situation in the state.

“There is currently no oxygen shortage in the state, including government and other private super-specialty hospitals. It came to our notice that some are trying to hoard and create scarcity. Strict action will be taken in this regard,” he said.