New COVID-19 strains are suspected in Maharashtra as "some patients are showing behaviours other than routine ones," said state Health Minister Rajesh Tope while addressing a press conference over the COVID-19 situation in the state on Wednesday.
Tope, while hinting at the possibility of new COVID-19 strains in the state, said, "New strains are suspected because we are seeing other behaviours in COVID-19 patients than routine behaviours. Patients are also showing non-routine behaviours after the infection."
"National Institute of Virology (NIV) is doing genomic sequencing of our samples. It is sending its report to National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC)," said Tope. "Now, NCDC will guide us about if any new protocol is to be followed for the treatment," he added.
Maharashtra Health Minister also said that COVID-19 drug Remdesivir's price should be capped between Rs 1,100-1,400 per dose, citing the high number of daily consumption in the state. He also informed that Maharashtra is currently consuming 50,000 doses of Remdesivir daily.
"We have a vaccine wastage rate of 3 per cent in Maharashtra which is half of the national average vaccine wastage rate of 6 per cent," Tope added.
Earlier, Tope said that the state is facing a vaccine shortage and has requested 40 lakh doses every week from the Centre.
He said, "We do not have enough vaccine doses at various vaccination centres, and people have to be sent back due to a shortage of doses. We have demanded from the Centre that people of age group 20-40 years must be vaccinated on priority."
Tope said that the state has asked for 40 lakh additional doses. While the Centre is giving the doses, the speed of delivery is slow. "I'm not saying that the Center is not giving us vaccines but the speed of delivery of vaccines is slow," Tope said.
(With input from agencies)