Russia has offered to provide India medical-grade oxygen as well as anti-viral drug Remdesivir and imports are likely to begin in the next 15 days, as the country struggles with a shortage of these products with a record-breaking surge in coronavirus cases, a report has said. “Russia has offered to supply 300,000-400,000 Remdesivir injections per week and the numbers can go up. Also, the oxygen supply will start via ship soon. Russia has said it can begin Remdesivir supplies in the next 15 days,” a second official said. India has banned the export of Remdesivir and has waived customs duty on the import of the drug. It is also considering extending the expiry date of the medicine, the report said.
For oxygen supply, the government estimates peg daily capacity increase of 1,800 metric tonnes (to 7,800 MT) from 6,000 MT a few weeks back—the daily use of medical oxygen has jumped to 4,000 MT. The quick capacity jump is largely due to the diversion of industrial oxygen towards medical facilities. Further, the Centre plans to import 50,000 MT of medical oxygen to meet demand. The supply of oxygen from the UAE is likely to be hindered due to a lack of an adequate number of cryogenic tankers or ISO tankers to transport oxygen in India, the second source added.