The Tamil Nadu government on Friday urged the Centre to allocate an "assured supply" of 20 lakh doses of covid vaccines to ensure unhindered immunisation and batted against any restriction on supply of Remdesivir, used in COVID-19 treatment.
Chief Minister K Palaniswami told Prime Minister Narendra Modi that an Integrated Vaccine complex near here was ready and appealed that it be brought to working condition at the earliest to augment production of COVID vaccines.
In a letter to Modi, the chief minister said directions are being issued by National and "certain State regulators," prioritising supplies by individual manufacturers to certain states and restricting Remdesivir sales only within the state where the drug was being produced.
"This would be very damaging to the availability of such valuable life saving drugs in places of need. At this stage, any restrictive orders by individual States, should be strictly barred to ensure easy accessibility of Remdesivir."
"I urge Government of India to take up this issue with such states where the companies have their production facilities located," Palaniswami said.
On the vaccination front, he said the drive was gaining pace in the state and requested that "an assured supply of at least ten days consumption of vaccine, of about 20 lakh doses, may be supplied well in advance to ensure that the vaccination drive in the individual sites are not affected and persons coming for second dose are assured of vaccination on the date and on the site they report."
The CM's plea comes in the wake of reported shortage of vaccines in some parts of the state, especially with many waiting for their second dose of covid jab.
Palaniswami further said that the "Integrated Vaccine complex located at Chengalpattu in Tamil Nadu, a Centrally executed project of national importance, with an aim to ensure vaccine security at a national level, is structurally and functionally ready and awaiting commissioning and validation."
"I am informed that this would be possible, if some pending works can be fast-tracked. I would appeal to you to bring this facility to working condition at the earliest, so as to augment the production of COVID vaccines," he told Modi.
Highlighting the pandemic prevention activities, the chief minister said Tamil Nadu was strictly following the practice of testing, tracing, isolating, treating and also vaccinating the eligible.
The State has been able to restrict the COVID-19 mortality to very low numbers and bring down the case positivity to less than 5 per cent initially.
Micro-containment, setting up of static and mobile fever camps, testing and screening centres to triage the positive patients to hospital, health centres, care centres or home quarantine are the other activities.
Tamil Nadu had been showing a continuous decline in positivity rate and case fatality and also dip in total numbers till the end of February 2021.
"However, in tune with the national trend, the state has also not been immune to the rapid increase in the COVID-19 infections in March and April 2021. The state is witnessing rise in new cases and the daily cases have crossed 10,000 and in Chennai alone, it is 3,300," he added.