Pharmacies told to submit details of people buying fever, cold drugs

A section of people have been reportedly using such drugs to suppress coronavirus-like symptoms

Several people, who had self-medicated for fever, later tested positive for COVID-19, said a report | Representative Photo: iStock

Pharmacies and medical shops in at least four states, including Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Bihar and Maharashtra, have been asked to keep a record of details of customers buying medicines for fever, cold and cough, said reports on Sunday (April 19).

According to an Indian Express report, the state governments in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have sought a daily list from medical shops and pharmacies to trace the buyers of drugs like paracetamol, and get them tested for COVID-19.

It said a section people have been using such drugs to suppress coronavirus-like symptoms, in a bid to avoid testing for the deadly virus, the 14-day quarantine, and facing the social stigma attached to the disease. In Telangana, it said officials have found several cases where people, who had self-medicated for fever, had later tested positive for COVID-19.

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The Municipal Administration and Urban Development Department of the state had on Friday issued a memo to all municipal commissioners and additional collectors, asking them to instruct all pharmacists’ associations and owners of medical shops to keep a record of phone numbers and contact address of people buying such medicines.

Similarly, Pune Police have ordered all pharmacies to maintain similar records of those buying such medicines without a prescription. The shopkeepers must submit their lists regularly by 8 pm via WhatsApp, the report said. The orders were issued on the directives of the state’s public health department.

The state health department in Bihar too has issued similar directives to the chemist shops. It Andhra Pradesh, the report said, a COVID-19 control room has been set up to assist symptomatic people who are hesitant to go for tests. These ontrol rooms are being manned by two doctors.

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