VIJAYAWADA: As Coronavirus cases are rising in AP, the state is witnessing panic buying of Covid drugs, like paracetamol, cetirizine, levocetirizine, azithromycin, cough syrups and vitamins. The purchase of these medicines has also coincided with an increasing number of people suffering from symptoms like cold, cough, fever and body pains.
State health authorities confess the highly infectious Omicron variant is spreading fast among family members and neighbouring communities. Instead of going for Coronavirus tests, people are themselves approaching medical shops and purchasing drugs known to control the virus. Given the huge demand for these medicines, several retail pharmacies are ordering huge stocks of these drugs.
A pharmacist of a retail pharmacy chain store said, “We procured a stock of 100 strips of levocetrizine last night. By this evening, they are all exhausted. It is for the first time I have seen such panic buying. It would otherwise take us at least a month to sell 100 strips.”
Another medical hall owner observed, “Youngsters are more among purchasers. They are taking mainly Dolo 650, cetirizine 10 mg, azithromycin and cough syrup. Unfortunately, I find no demand for masks, hand wash and sanitizers, unlike earlier waves. People are not following Covid appropriate behaviour, thereby spreading the virus among others.”
A youth stated, “I developed Covid symptoms and have taken Coronavirus test. Its result is awaited. I am sure I might have infected my family members too, as we are all living in the same house. I am purchasing Covid drugs for all of us, as I am not sure whether they will be available after some time.”
A senior official from the drugs control administration confirmed that people are on a spree of purchasing medicines on feeling any of the symptoms. “We are taking all measures to check to the hoard of drugs that may trouble people. We are appealing to people that they purchase drugs only after visiting a doctor, getting tested and knowing the result, instead of going for self-medication.”
Pharmacists also concede that they are selling a huge number of Rapid Antigen Test Kits. Some people are testing themselves and starting the regimen of medicines.
A section of people are blaming the state government for not implementing the mask rule strictly or imposing a ₹ 100 fine on those flouting the rule to help curb the spread of Coronavirus....