In view of the coronavirus pandemic, the Karnataka government has now directed medical stores and pharmacies to maintain a record of the contact details of customers buying certain medicines over the counter. These medicines most include paracematols or ones usually bought for cold, cough and fever.
According to the state government's recent order, the details of customers buying such medicines must be shared with the district health officers until the end of the Covid-19 outbreak.
The order from the state's Department of Health and Family Welfare read that all chemists or druggists and pharmacies in hospitals should make an entry of the buyers' details including their name, address, land mark and mobile number who are provided the following drugs over the counter. The drugs have been broadly categorised as pertaining to the treatment of symptoms like- fever (Antipyretics and Anti-inflammatory), cold (Anti- allergic) and cough (Anti-tussive). These drugs could be paracetamol including all doses and strengh, cetirizine or chlorpheniramine and all types of cough syrups.
"Influenza Like Illness (ILI) and Severely Acute Respiratory Illness (SARI) cases that have similar symptoms like that of Covid-19 should be screened at the initial stages so that morbidity and mortality due to the virus can be arrested in the community," the order added.
The details of the buyer purchasing the above mentioned drugs either individually or in any combination should be noted. The records are subject for verification by the district health officers or representatives.
"This is done so that it would be easy for officials to keep a track of those with coronavirus-like symptoms. The details of the buyer must be provided to the district health officer on a daily basis. This order has gone out to all chemists and druggists and comes into effect immediately," said Primary and Secondary Education minister Suresh Kumar, in-charge of Covid-19 briefings.
In addition to this, the government also ordered all non-Covid-19 patients to be treated at alternate Ayushman Bharat recognised hospitals in case their primary hospital has been converted to a Covid-19 specialty unit.
23 hospitals across the state have been converted to Covid-19 hospitals and these hospitals do not admit any non-Covid-19 cases. With this, only 143 out of 166 dialysis centers in the state are available. To cater to this shortage, 45 private hospitals have been identified to provide treatment to dialysis patients as per the rate mentioned in the Ayushman Bharat scheme.