New Delhi: The government has placed orders for import of 4.5 lakh vials of antiviral drug Remdesivir with the first consignment of 75,000 vials expected to reach Indian shores on Friday, Chemicals and Fertilisers Ministry said in a statement.

The government has started importing the vital drug Remdesivir from other countries to ease its shortage in the country, the ministry said.

The first consignment of 75,000 vials will reach India on Friday, it added.

Demand for Remdesivir has gone up manifold in the country with a surge in COVID-19 cases. The antiviral drug is used in the treatment of the infectious disease.

HLL Lifecare Ltd, a Government of India owned company, has ordered 4,50,000 vials of Remdesivir from M/s Gilead Sciences Inc USA and Egyptian Pharma Company, M/s Eva Pharma, the release said.

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It is expected that Gilead Sciences will dispatch 75,000 to 1,00,000 vials in the next one or two days, it noted.

Further, one lakh vials will also be supplied before or by May 15, the release said.

EVA Pharma will supply around 10,000 vials initially followed by 50,000 vials every 15 days or till July, it added.

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