Long-term arrangements needed to fight COVID-19, says Gadkari

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Nagpur, Apr 15 (PTI) Union minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday stressed on making long-term arrangements for fighting COVID-19 and dubbed the pandemic situation as very serious.

The Lok Sabha MP from Nagpur was speaking after inaugurating a private 100-bed COVID-19 care centre at the National Cancer Centre in the city. BJP leader and former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis was also present.

Speaking on the occasion, Gadkari stressed on making long-term arrangements for fighting the pandemic, saying 'The situation is very serious and no one knows how long it will last. People should think for the best but prepare for the worst.' Gadkari informed about arranging medical oxygen supply of 40 tonnes from Bhillai for Nagpur hospitals.

He said up to 300 beds are being added at the AIIMS Nagpur and oxygen stock for the hospital is being sourced from Visakhapatnam.

Gadkari also informed about arranging 1,000 ventilators from a facility from Medical Devices Park in Visakhapatnam, which will be provided to Nagpur hospitals.

Gadkari, speaking on shortage of Remdesivir, said there are only four pharma companies which have licence to manufacture the key COVID-19 drug in India.

But, the Union government on Wednesday gave permission to 8 more companies to manufacturer the drug which will address the shortage of Remdesivir, he said.

Fadnavis said Nagpur is registering a large number of coronavirus cases , which has led to a shortage of hospital beds, medicines and oxygen stock n the city.

' Looking at the situation, under the guidance of Nitinji, we have set up the COVID-19 care centre at the National Care centre for treatment of people,” he said. RSY