Will the world’s most poorly-funded health system be able to control COVID-19 crisis?

Will the world’s most poorly-funded health system be able to control COVID-19 crisis?
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NEW DELHI | JULY 24, 2020:

India reported the biggest daily surge with over 49,000 fresh COVID-19 positive cases and 740 fatalities on Friday, July 24.

Health Officials in different states are also complaining about the shortage of vital drugs for those hospitalized.

As the number of COVID-19 cases neared 1.3 million in India, authorities scrambled to procure generic versions of Remdesivir, the drug that has shown promise in clinical trials.

"Demand is huge as cases are rising rapidly in the state," said a senior drug regulatory official in Maharashtra.

"Supplies of the drug are limited, but companies have assured they will provide more in a week," he said.

India has reported 30,601 fatalities with more than 40 per cent of these coming from the state of Maharashtra.

The western state is the worst-affected, having recorded nearly 350,000 cases, of which almost 60 per cent were reported in the country's financial capital, Mumbai.

Remdesivir, a drug made by the U.S. Gilead Sciences Inc, has been in high demand globally amid the ongoing pandemic.

Gilead, in May and June, authorized six Indian companies, and three foreign ones, to make and sell generic versions of the drug in 127 developing nations.

Only three firms with operations in India – Hetero Labs Ltd, Cipla, and Mylan NV have been able to start supplying. Others are either awaiting regulatory approvals or still setting up production.

Several hospitals have struggled to get the drug as the number of patients is increasing in the country whose public health system is one of the world's most poorly-funded.

India now has the third-highest number of COVID-19 cases after the United States and Brazil.

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