Amid the grim COVID-19 situation in the country, the Union government has ordered the procurement of 53.70 lakh Remdesivir injections and 46,386 ventilators to tackle the calamity. Out of the order placed till Wednesday, various manufacturers, however, have been able to supply only a little over 38.05 lakh injections and only 43,979 pieces of ventilators to various states, Union territories and the Central government's facilities, says the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in response to a plea under the transparency law.
Out of 43,979 ventilators supplied to various anti-COVID facilities, only 38,958 have been installed, the reply to the plea under the Right to Information Act added. Out of the Remdesivir injections, allotted or ordered to be procured for various states, Maharashtra has been allotted 11.57 lakh injections but has been able to secure a supply of merely 7.99 lakh, the reply said.
The Union ministry has given its response in reply to a plea by RTI activist Sujeet Swami. After Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh has been able to procure over 3.63 lakh doses of the injection against an allotment of 4.95 lakh doses, while Gujarat has been able to procure 3.54 lakh injections against allotment of 4.19 doses.
Karnataka for which an order for procurement of 5.75 lakh injections had been placed has been able to procure only 3.26 lakh vials, the reply to RTI plea revealed. Similarly, an order for the supply of 2.20 lakh injections had been placed for the national capital Delhi which has managed to secure over 1.81 lakh of its doses, the reply added.
Some other states which managed to procure significant supplies of the injection though less than what they had been allocated are Madhya Pradesh (2.14 lakh vials against an order of 2.60 lakh injection), Rajasthan (1.57 lakh against 2.48 lakh), Bihar (92,000 against an order of 1.5 lakh vials), West Bengal (one lakh against an order of 1.60 lakh) and Punjab (60,000 against an order of 85,000).
Curiously, among various states, Telagana has got the unique distinction of securing more vials of Remdesivir than what it had ordered for 1.98 lakh against an order of 1.45 lakh vials.
The RTI reply further revealed that two union territories of Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep have till now failed to procure a single vial of the injection despite having been allocated merely 2,000 injections.