Editorial | Flying off the shelf

As the scare over coronavirus doesn’t seem to go off any soon, in fact, in this part of the world it has started picking up, there are things that need to be addressed by the administration on urgent basis. Beyond the direct steps related to the management of this pandemic, and taking care of the patients that are found suspect, or in case results are positive, there are measures related to market availability of related drugs, and other things. As the scare in Kashmir mounted the knee jerk response from the people was to buy some known medicines that are helpful in other cases of flu and some baseline infections. The result was  that many such drugs went off the market. Now anyone in need of such a medicine is bound to suffer. There are many reports that suggest that the supply of such medicines in the government hospitals has also run dry. Besides, the major drug stores have empty shelves.

In such a situation where should an affected  person go. Same is the case with things like sanitisers, and sanitary napkins, paper tissues, and other cleaning agents. A race for hoarding these things resulted in them turning absent in the market. The immediate result of this is that those in real need find it difficult to procure the things. Another ill effect is that rates go up, and quality of the products goes down. It becomes a net of exploitation. It is here that the concerned agencies need to keep a vigil on the market. Not just the availability of such things has to be ensured, but the  scope for exploitation is to be minimised, if not eliminate completely. For this the government can take some proactive measures. One, publicise the rates of such products. Two, educate people about the quality of such products. Three, the manufactures of these products can be roped in to ensure adequate supply of these products. And lastly, if possible, impress upon the manufactures to bring down the rates, as the scale of sale is very high.

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