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COVID 2.0 | Centre ramps up production capacity of Remdesivir injections

(Asian News Hub) – Amid reports of shortage of antiviral drug Remdesivir, the Centre on Wednesday announced that the production capacity of Remdesivir injections is being ramped up from the current level of 38 lakh vials per month to 74 lakh vials per month.

It also said that 20 additional manufacturing sites have been approved.

The Union health ministry in coordination with the Department of Pharmaceuticals has made an interim allocation of Remdesivir for 19 states and Union territories (UTs) for the period up to April 30, to further address reports of shortage of the drug in certain regions of the country and facilitate its smooth inter-state supply.

Remdesivir being an investigational therapy drug given in acute and severe versions of COVID-19 where oxygen support is a must, this allocation pertains to 14 states/UTs, including Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Gujarat, to which medical oxygen is allocated, and five other states where high volume of supplies is being observed,” the ministry said in a statement.

Keeping in mind the sudden surge in demand for Remdesivir injections, the manufacturing capacity of domestic Remdesivir manufacturers has been ramped up, it said.

‘All support is being extended to manufacturers by the government in this endeavour. The production capacity is being ramped up from current level of 38 lakh vials per month to 74 lakh vials per month, and 20 additional manufacturing sites have been approved.

Export of Remdesivir has also been prohibited on 11th April in order to shore up domestic supplies,’ the ministry said.

The allocation includes bulk purchases made by the states as well as supplies through private distribution channels.

Several states and UTs have reported acute shortage of Remdesivir and raised the issue with the Centre.

The ministry said this initial allocation is dynamic and will be reviewed constantly in consultation with the states/UTs to ensure all needs can be met within the available supplies.

It said the manufacturers have been advised to consider supply orders already made to them, geographical proximity with a state and terms of supply, and give inputs for mapping of manufacturers to states for the allocated volumes.

‘Manufacturers have been directed to manufacture and dispatch the supplies as per the agreed state allocation and mapping. They may be asked to balance supplies to the government and distribution channel. All states may place their supply orders to manufacturers, if not already done, either by government purchase or distribution channel, within the above-mentioned state-wise allocation and manufacturer-wise mapping,’ the ministry said.

It further said that in case any state does not require or is unable to fully utilise its allocation before April 30, that would be available for reallocation to other states as per their requirement.

‘The states may immediately appoint state nodal officers for Remdesivir who will be responsible for unrestricted and timely movement of the drug within their states as per the above-mentioned allocation and mapping,’ the statement said.

The control room set up by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) shall be responsible for monitoring the operations as per the allocations.

A WhatsApp group comprising nodal officers of states to coordinate unhindered movement of Remdesivir within the country is being created. Liaison Officers of Remdesivir manufacturers and officials of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Department of Pharmaceuticals, National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) and the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) will be part of this group for day-to-day monitoring and coordination,’ the ministry added.



Incessant rain leaves 135 dead in Maharashtra

(Asian News Hub) – Last week, heavy rains in Maharashtra and Karnataka have caused massive damage to the people living near the coastal areas in both states.

Incessant rains causing landslides and floods left over 140 dead and thousands displaced. The destruction seems irreversible in cities, districts and villages.

While districts like Raigad and Ratnagiri were among the worst-hit areas of Maharashtra, parts of the coastal, Malenadu and the north-interior region of Karnataka were battered by torrential rains.

Since the rains began, 135 people are dead in Maharashtra and nine have been killed in Karnataka in incidents like floods, landslides etc. Over 1,35,313 people have been shifted to safer places, including 78,111 in Sangli district, followed by 40,882 in Kolhapur district of Maharashtra. At the same time, in Karnataka, 31,360 people have been evacuated from low-lying areas, while 22,417 people are taking shelter in 237 relief camps.

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BSF, Pak Rangers resolve to maintain peace on border in first meeting after Ceasefire

Meeting held on Islamabad’s request, lodged strong protest over Drone activities: BSF

(Asian News Hub) – Border guards of India and Pakistan on Saturday resolved to remain committed to each other to maintain peace and harmony at International Border in Jammu.

Border Security Forces (BSF) said that Sector Command level meeting, first after New Delhi and Islamabad decided on steadfast holding of ceasefire, was held on request of Pakistan Rangers on International Border in Suchetgarh area of the Jammu.

The BSF delegation was led by Surjit Singh, DIG, Border Security Force and Pakistan Rangers delegation was led by Brig Murad Hussain, sector commander Pakistan Rangers, Sialkot Sector , S P S Sandhu (DIG), a spokesman of the BSF, said in a statement cited by GNS.

“It was the first Sector Commander level meeting between two border guarding Forces, after declaration of cease fire agreement by DGMOs.”

“During meeting, Commanders of both the border guarding Forces, discussed various issues with main emphasis by BSF delegation on Pak Drone activities, (militant) activities by Pakistan from across the border, digging of tunnels by Pakistan and other issues related to Border management,” the spokesman said, adding, “A very strong protest was lodged by BSF delegates regarding drone activities by Pakistan authorities in Jammu area.”

The spokesman said both the forces “decided to re-energize instant communication between field Commanders, whenever required, to resolve the ops matters.”

“ Meeting was held in a cordial, positive and constructive atmosphere and both side agreed for expeditious implementation of the decisions taken in the earlier DG level talks and committed to each other to maintain peace and harmony at International Border,” he added.


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Raj Kundra made erotica, not porn: Shilpa Shetty to police

(Asian News Hub) – Actor Shilpa Shetty has claimed she has nothing to do with ‘Hotshots’ – the mobile app involving Raj Kundra, and claimed that her husband used to make erotica, not porn.

“Shilpa Shetty has said her husband is innocent and that erotica is different from pornography. Her husband Raj Kundra wasn’t involved in producing porn content,” according to ANI.

Shilpa Shetty said that Pradeep Bakshi, the London-based wanted accused and Raj Kundra’s brother-in-law, was involved with the app and its functioning, the officials told ANI.

Kundra, 45, was arrested by the crime branch on Monday night in a case, which it said, related to alleged creation of pornographic films and publishing them through some apps.

According to the police, there were several WhatsApp chats that revealed that Kundra was involved in the financial dealings of an app and its contents.

The police also said three women have come forward with complaints in the case, saying they were “forced to act in pornographic movies”.

The accused persons took advantage of struggling models, actors and other workers and made them work in these movies, the police added.

Kundra was taken into custody on Monday night by the city police”s crime branch after being booked under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Information Technology Act.

On Friday, Shilpa Shetty urged to her fans to watch her latest comedy “Hungama 2” and not let the film “suffer” in the wake of her husband, businessman Raj Kundra, was arrested in a porn films case.

Shetty, whose comeback film “Hungama 2” released on the steaming platform Disney + Hotstar on Friday, said the Priyadarshan-directed comedy is a result of “relentless” hard work of the entire team and should not suffer.

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