Guwahati: Amid the rising number of COVID cases in Assam, the state government has announced that the government would provide Remdesivir injections used as a treatment for COVID, free of cost to people living below the poverty line (BPL).
The Health and Family Welfare Department of the Government of Assam made this announcement through an order issued on April 17, 2021.
According to the Rangarajan (C Rangarajan, former RBI Governor, former MP and former Chairman of PMEAC) The committee report of 2014 on who is a BPL person in India, anyone whose daily expenditure in urban areas is up to Rs 47 and in rural areas the daily spending is up to Rs 32 is a person living Below the Poverty Line.
The order further mentioned that for the treatment of non-BPL patients, the patients will have to bear the cost of Remdesivir. The rate has been fixed. This would be the rate at which the Assam government (National Health Mission, Assam) has bought the drug.
"Now, in order to ensure optimal utilization of financial resources in hospitals under the Health and Family Welfare Department, it has been decided that:
1) In case of treatment of BPL patients, Remdesivir will be provided free of cost.
2) In case of treatment of non-BPL patients, the cost of Remdesivir will have to borne by patients/attendants at the rate equal to rate of procurement of Remdesivir by National Health Mission, Assam," the order said.
Remdesivir, an intravenous nucleotide prodrug of an adenosine analogue, forms an important part of the COVID-19 treatment protocol.
The order further mentioned that hospitals under the Health and Family Welfare Department have enough stock of Remdesivir and steps are being taken to further augment the stock.
The order signed by the Assam government's Principal Health Secretary, Samir Sinha said that the government is trying to ensure the best possible treatment to COVID-19 patients in the state.
The order further stated that hospitals will maintain separate accounts or ledger for the amount collected against payments made for Remdesivir. The amount will be deposited in the account of the Hospital Management Society and no expenditure shall be made out of the fund collected without prior permission or instruction from the Government.
The order comes in the backdrop of Assam recording 876 new COVID cases on Saturday, April 17. The positivity rate has touched 2.02% and two deaths, one each in Kamrup (Metro) and Kamrup (Rural) has been recorded in the past 24 hours. The districts with the maximum number of cases as on April 17 are - Kamrup (M) – 360 cases, Kamrup (R) – 56 cases, Sonitpur – 47 cases and Dibrugarh with 42 new COVID positive cases.