Mangaluru/Udupi: While all eyes are on COVID-19, supplies of regular medicine, diapers, sanitary napkins and even condoms have taken a hit in the coastal region in Mangaluru.
"The cough syrup I had asked for my son was not available in the medical shop. I got syrup of the same combination but of a different company. Same was the case of medicine for fever," said Vasudeva, an employee of a private firm.
Mr Vasudeva had stood in the queue for about 15 minutes to get the medicine. "This is one of the big medical stores in the City. They always have all types of medicines. But due to the lockdown, they seem to be out of stock. The supervisor apologised and made me understand the situation," he added.
Similar was the case with many others who had to come to a couple of medical stores. People are not only unable to get specific company medicine but also the required specification in diapers, sanitary pads, and condoms.
"I had been to the medical store for a sanitary pad. There is no option and I had to take the one which was available and not the one I wanted," said Anuradha, who was in a queue in front of another medical shop.
However, people are satisfied that the supply has not been affected.
"It is true that the specific name and company and specification may not be available. But the product of a different company with the same combination and specification is available," she added.
"As you know there is not enough stock due to the lockdown. The production and supply has slowed down to some extent, while the demand has increased. People are scared that the lock down may extend. Also instead of standing in the queue, again and again, they take double the quantity of the materials they need,” shared a medical shop owner, who did not want to be named.
“We have stock of all the drugs and supplies but people may not get the exact specification they need. We request people to cooperate with us. We give them the medicine of a different company with the same combination," he added.
District Administration officials said that as there was strict control on the movement of people, the suppliers of medicines had faced a shortage of people to load and unload the materials.
"Initially there was confusion related to transport. But it was cleared. Now though the medicines and other materials sold in medical stores are transported, the suppliers are unable to get enough men to load and unload them due to which the shops are unable to get enough stock on time. However necessary action is taken to issue a pass to them and ensure that the medical supplies are not affected," a senior officer said.