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MHA Dismisses Reports of Shortage of Vital Drugs in Valley, Admits to Running out of Baby Food for 2 Days

The ministry, also in its statement, said that medicines worth Rs 23.81 crore had reached end user retail shops in the last 20 days which is slightly higher than the monthly average.

News18.com

Updated:August 25, 2019, 4:43 PM IST
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MHA Dismisses Reports of Shortage of Vital Drugs in Valley, Admits to Running out of Baby Food for 2 Days
File photo of Kashmir after curbs were gradually being lifted. (PTI)
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New Delhi: The administration in the Jammu and Kashmir has responded to reports, including one published by News18, on the shortage of vital, life-saving drugs. In a statement released on Sunday morning, the Ministry of Home Affairs claimed that 65% retail shops were open overall in the Valley and 70% chemist shops were open in Srinagar.

However, perhaps for the first time, the Home Ministry, also through its statement, admitted to a shortage in baby food for the last two days. “There was shortage of baby food in valley for nearly 2 days. Fresh stocks received. Sufficient for next 3 weeks minimum...3 persons each stationed at Jammu and Chandigarh for quick despatch of medicines and baby food. SDM East nodal officer coordinating for valley supplies,” the statement read.

The ministry, also in its statement, said that medicines worth Rs 23.81 crore had reached end user retail shops in the last 20 days. “That’s slightly higher than monthly average... all 376 notified drugs are available at government shops and also private retailers. Sixty-two essential/life-saving drugs are available. Both categories for 15-20 days stock.”

The Ministry of Home Affairs also said the average delivery time from placement of order is 14-18 hours from Jammu as most medical distributors for Kashmir are based out of Jammu. The statement also said that no case of overpricing has been received during 72 test check cases.

News18 had recently done a story in which medical suppliers in the Valley had talked about running out of lifesaving drugs. The stocks have already dried up in rural areas, leading to fatalities in some cases, people News18 spoke to for the story said. The state has been under a lockdown since August 5 — the day Union government revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, Article 370, and divided the restive state into the two Union Territories, J&K and Ladakh — Kashmir.

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