"India requested the activation of the European mechanism for civil protection [Emergency Response Coordination Centre] to deal with the serious pandemic situation it has experienced, and Portugal has expressed its willingness to contribute in solidarity," said the DGS in a statement.
According to the same source, this donation of the medicine to India resulted from a joint action of the DGS, the National Authority for Emergency and Civil Protection, the National Drug Authority (Infarmed) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Remdesivir is indicated for the treatment of adult and adolescent patients with pneumonia requiring supplemental oxygen and has been authorised in the European Union for Covid-19.
In October 2020, the Portuguese Government decided to purchase, over several months, more than one hundred thousand vials of the antiviral remdesivir, with the trade name Veklury.
The decision was taken in the Council of Ministers and announced by the Minister of Health, Marta Temido, who explained that the acquisition of over one hundred thousand vials would cost around 35 million Euros, since each one costs 345 Euros.
India for the first time surpassed 4,500 Covid-19 deaths in a single day, with 4,529 deaths recorded in the last 24 hours, in addition to 267,334 new cases, according to data from the Indian Health Ministry.
With 283,248 deaths since the start of the pandemic, India is the third country with the most deaths from the new coronavirus, after the United States and Brazil.
Experts have warned, however, that the official figures may be underestimated, due to lack of testing and the growing spread of the new coronavirus in rural areas, where health coverage is lower.
Dealing with a second wave with an unprecedented impact on the health system, with oxygen and bed shortages, India currently has more than 3.2 million active cases.
In addition to the medicine donated to India, Portugal recently provided 24,000 doses of vaccines against Covid-19 to Cape Verde, in response to the request for support from the government of that country.
The batch of vaccines, accompanied by the necessary material for its administration - syringes and needles, among others - arrived in Praia on 14 May.
This transfer followed the commitment announced by the Portuguese government to provide Portuguese-speaking African countries (PALOP) and East Timor with 5 percent of the vaccines purchased by Portugal, as part of the European effort to share these drugs against Covid-19.