The chemists, pharmacists and distributors of the medicine have also circulated their phone numbers in different areas in Valley, so that people could book an order and avail the services. However, many of these chemists and druggists aren’t able to move freely due to restrictions as police and paramilitary forces deployed on ground don’t allow them to pass through the barriers erected all across the Valley.
“We want to serve people and ensure that people don’t die of underlying conditions and ailments. People could die because of terminal illness and not because of corona virus, if medicine was not given on time,” president of Chemists and Druggists Association of Kashmir Fayaz Azad told ET. Forces deployed on ground Azad said should allow people in the pharmaceutical industry to move after checking their valid documents. “In past few days many of my colleagues were thrashed or not allowed to move. This should stop immediately as it will impact the delivery of medicine,” said Azad.
The administration has declared medicine supplies as essential service but there has been no coordination with the officials working on ground to impose lockdown. Azad said that people also should not panic and be assured that we will deliver medicine as much as we can. But he cautioned against hoarding medicine saying that the association has suggested that its members should only sell medicine in bulk to any single consumer.
The pharmaceutical industry in Kashmir is also unclear about the supply of drugs from outside Valley as all interstate borders have been sealed and air traffic has been stopped as well. “We have enough medicine stocked here, but it cannot last for ever. So, government should tell us what is their plan about the supply of medicine, so that we can get clarity at distribution level as well,” said Azad. The medicine supplies from outside into Kashmir have been erratic since March 15, 2020, and in past few days no new medicine has arrived in the Valley.