Shri Rajnath Singh unveils DRDO developed anti-COVID drug | Source: Ministry of Defence
The first batch of the adjunct COVID therapy anti-COVID drug, 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG), was released by Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh and handed over to Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Science & Tech and Earth Sciences Dr Harsh Vardhan in New Delhi on May 17, 2021. One box each of the sachets of the drug was handed over to Director, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Dr Randeep Guleria and Lt Gen Sunil Kant of Armed Forces Medical Services(AFMS). More will be handed over to different hospitals across the country for emergency use. An anti-COVID-19 therapeutic application of the drug 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG) has been developed by the Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS), a lab of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), along with Dr Reddy’s Laboratories (DRL), Hyderabad.
Speaking on the occasion, the Raksha Mantri congratulated DRDO and DRL, Hyderabad for manufacturing the drug that will help the COVID patients to reduce oxygen dependency and recover quickly. He described the drug as a perfect example of the country’s scientific prowess and a milestone in the efforts towards self-reliance. “2-DG drug is a new ray of hope in these challenging times,” said Shri Rajnath Singh, expressing confidence that the medicine will play a crucial role in winning the fight against COVID-19. He said,
The development and production of the drug is a shining example of a public-private sector partnership to help the nation in these challenging times. when the situation improves, he would personally like to honour the scientists who played a major role in the development of the drug as they deserve credit for this achievement.
He also pointed out that the oxygen supply in the country has been substantially increased to more than 9,500 Metric Tonnes (MT) per day from around 4,700MT at the start of May.
The Raksha Mantri commended DRDO for setting up medical oxygen plants at various hospitals across the country under PM Cares Fund, besides constructing Covid hospitals, with ICU, oxygen and ventilators, in Delhi, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Varanasi and Gandhinagar. Work is in progress to set up similar hospitals in Haldwani, Rishikesh, Jammu and Srinagar. He also appreciated the passion of retired AFMS doctors who have answered the nation’s call and joined the medical fraternity in providing medical care to the needy.
Shri Rajnath Singh underlined the important role being played by the Armed Forces in assisting the civil administration to tide over the current situation. He said, the Indian Air Force (IAF) and Indian Navy (IN) are working tirelessly to transport oxygen tankers, containers, concentrators and other critical medical equipment from within the country and abroad. He also highlighted the expansion of treatment facilities at military hospitals which are now being provided to civilians as well.
The Raksha Mantri reiterated the Government’s resolve to provide medical care to each and every citizen of the country, saying that the Prime Minister has directed officials to conduct door-to-door testing, equip ASHA & Anganwadi workers with all necessary tools and provide all facilities in remote areas. He urged all stakeholders to walk shoulder to shoulder in the country’s ongoing fight against the pandemic, expressing confidence that the country will emerge victorious against this invisible enemy. “We will not be at ease. We will not be tired. We will keep fighting and win against COVID-19,” he stressed.