‘Lifesaving drug consignments worth Rs 2 cr airlifted to Valley in four weeks’
Srinagar: Nearly 800 Srinagar families received free medicines at their doorsteps amid Coronavirus lockdown, officials said.
They said the free medicines worth Rs 10 lakh have been delivered at the doorsteps of poor patients after receiving distressing calls from them at a dedicated control room established in the office of Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar.
“We received thousands of distressed calls from patients during the last four weeks. They were asking for drugs as they faced financial and other issues due to the lockdown,” said Irfana Ahmad, Deputy Drug Controller.
“The department acted immediately and sent teams to different locations along with the required drug,” she said.
The deputy drug controller said that 80 percent of the patients who called the control room were given free drugs as they belonged to the BPL families.
“Most of them are undergoing treatment for different ailments like cancer, kidney failure, hypertension, diabetes and haemophilia,” she said.
However, every drug was given against a proper prescription to prevent any misuse, Ahmad added.
Kashmir valley has already received nearly 10 drug consignments worth Rs 2 crore since March 20. The supply had been airlifted from New Delhi to Kashmir to ensure an adequate supply of essentials and life-saving medicines in the Valley amid the coronavirus-triggered lockdown.
The consignments of life-saving drugs including medicines for the treatment of cancer, diabetes, renal and cardiac problems were airlifted with help of Indian Air Force.
Co-convenor of Jammu and Kashmir Chemists and Distributors Association, Arshad Hussain told Kashmir Reader that air-cargo operations of private airlines were suspended since March 25 due to Covid-19 lockdown so we requested the government to airlift life-saving drugs with help of Indian Air Force.
“These drugs need special storage in form of a cold chain so can’t be transported through road,” he said.
According to him, there is no shortage of drugs in Kashmir as most of the stock will last for at least a month after it was airlifted.
“Some drugs which are in tablet form are adequate and will last up to June,” he said.
Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, PK Pole told Kashmir Reader that medical stores are part of essential commodities and chemist shops are open.
“There is no shortage of medicine, even of life-saving drugs have been brought by air. Wholesale dealers are bringing medicine and distributing through their retailers as per their normal business network,” he said.