Pune: As thousands of people in Pune, are struggling hard to find the Remdesivir, authorities in Pune actively advertised helpline numbers by which those in need can connect with them for help in navigating the process of obtaining the drug. But to the frustration of those who are already tired of hunting for the drug, helpline number never seem to get connected.
Against complaints of shortage and unavailability of anti-viral drug Remdesivir, in Pune, the District Collector along with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has formed a Remdesivir Control Room with a helpline to solve issues being faced by the relatives of the patient. People in Pune facing issues regarding procurement of Remdesivir can call on 020-26123371 or 1077. This comes a day after relatives of COVID-19 patients protested outside Poona Hospital Medical Store after they failed to obtain the injections despite getting tokens in advance.
Sumit Kadam, one of the Puneties frustatedly said, “Though the authorities have announced a helpline number, they must ensure that the line is getting connected. From last evening (Sunday), I am trying to call the helpline as I need vials of Remdesivir for my mother but still, it is sounding ‘busy’.”
According to the authorities, if anybody calls the helpline number, he or she will be directed to ask the treating hospital to approach the helpline and register their complaint of non-availability of Remdesivir. The control room will then contact the distributor to help the hospital get the drug.
A relative of the COVID-19 patient who wished to remain unnamed said, “We are stuck. We contacted the helpline provided but we didn't get any response yet. Whenever we are trying to connect it, the busy tone is making me angrier. Authorities should think that is it fair to launch just two helpline numbers in a city like Pune.”
On the other side, the District Collector had directed the hospitals to procure Remdesivir from the distributors directly as per the needs. An order signed by Deshmukh read, “The hospitals treating COVID-19 patients should procure Remdesivir injections in a number that will last for three days.” He also informed that anti-viral drug will not be sold to retail pharmacies that are not associated with a COVID-19 hospital.
Pune Mayor Murlidhar Mohol, also on his Twitter handle wrote, "Those who need the drug can call on 020-26123371 or call 1077.”
Meanwhile, Pune district on Sunday reported 12,377 new cases, the highest till date. With this, the progressive count of COVID-19 in the district stood at 6,48,393.