T'gana fumes at Centre over 'lesser' Remdesivir allotment, COVID-19 vaccine dual pricing

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Hyderabad, April 22 (PTI) Slamming the Centre for 'lesser' allocation of Remdesivir to Telangana, Health Minister Etela Rajender on Thursday said the state has to be given preference as it is home to many manufacturers of the anti-viral drug.

Speaking to reporters, Rajender said the central government has allotted only over 21,000 from April 21-30 as against the state's expectation of four lakh.

'We do not know on what basis they (the centre) allotted 21,551 injections of Remdesivir.

We took up the issues with Union Health Minister. He said he will look into it. We express our protest against this. I will also write a letter to Harsh Vardhan (union health minister) .

Telangana's requirements have to be met first as manufacturers of Remdesivir are located here,' Rajender said.

The Union Health Ministry in coordination with the Department of Pharmaceuticals on Wednesday 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.

According to Rajender, states such as Gujarat, Maharashtra and Delhi have been allotted more Remdesivir.

He stated that allocation of medical oxygen to the state was also illogical.

Rajender, however, said as of now there was no shortage of oxygen in the state barring a few incidents of black marketing of the life saving gas.

The minister said the Centre has to keep in mind the fact thatmost of the patients being treated in Telangana hospitals are from neighbouringstates and allott oxygen and Remdesivir accordingly.

Meanwhile, Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) working president and Minister for IT and Industries KT Rama Rao took to twitter to question the central government on dual pricing of COVID-19 vaccine.

'We agreed for One Nation - One Tax (GST) But now we see, One Nation - Two different Vaccine prices !? For Govt of India @ Rs 150 And State Govts @ Rs 400 Cant the GoI subsume any additional cost from PM CARES & help rapid vaccination across India?,' he asked in a tweet.

The tweet comes a day after Serum Institute of India announced that prices for its vaccine 'Covishield' have been fixed at Rs 400 per dose for state governments and Rs 600 per dose for private hospitals.

The Pune-based company sells Covishield to the Centre at Rs 150 per dose. PTI GDK ROH ROH