The chemist shops and pharmacies are facing acute shortage of life-saving medicines due to continued lockdown, which was imposed by India in August, 2019, and was intensified last month in the name of preventing the spread of coronavirus in the territory.
The supply of medicines and other essential commodities to occupied Kashmir were badly hit after Modi-led government repealed the special status of the territory and placed it under military siege. The occupation authorities had further tightened the siege on March 18 when the first case of coronavirus was reported in the occupied territory.
Hundreds of patients and their relatives in the Kashmir Valley said that they were facing difficulty in getting essential medicines in the wake of shortage of life-saving drugs amid severe restrictions in place in the name of precautionary measures against the coronavirus.
A youth, Riyaz Ahmed, had to return disappointed from a chemist shop in Srinagar as he couldn’t get long-acting antipsychotic injectables for his schizophrenic middle-aged brother. This was the 10th pharmacy from which he had returned empty-handed.
“I don’t know what I ought to do,” a distressed Ahmad said. He has now asked a doctor friend to help get the drug.
A drug distributor wishing anonymity said, “We are currently facing a shortage of many life-saving drugs including antiepileptic, anti-cancer, and anti-diabetic medicines as supplies are disrupted due to the lockdown.”
He noted that the distributors are wary of investing their money in placing orders. He said that there was so much uncertainty and they were unsure if the orders placed would get delivered in time or not.
On the other hand, the residents of the Kashmir Valley are also facing severe shortage of food items including milk, bread, fresh vegetables and fruits due to severe lockdown.