No shortage of medicines to combat COVID-19 outbreak: Govt

Team Udayavani, Mar 31, 2020, 7:21 PM IST

New Delhi: The Centre on Tuesday asserted that there is no shortage of medicines to combat the coronavirus outbreak and the Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP) is regularly monitoring the distribution and addressing issues with the help of other departments, states and Union Territories.

The DoP is continuously monitoring the production of medicines since the outbreak of coronavirus in China and is facilitating the industry by addressing various issues arising from time to time as quickly as possible on top priority in consultation with various authorities including state and UT governments, the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers said in a statement.

Besides, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has directed manufacturers to produce and maintain sufficient stocks of essential drugs at any point of time. All efforts are being made to ensure the production of drugs and medical devices during the period of lockdown, it added.

“The Department of Pharmaceuticals is working in close coordination with line departments like Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Customs authorities, Central and State Drug Controllers, State Governments/UTs and various drugs and medical device associations,” the statement said.

The ministry further said a central control room [011-23389840] has been set up in DoP, which is working from 8 am to 6 pm. Moreover, NPPA has also set up another control room [Helpline number 1800-111255], which functions round the clock.

The control rooms deal with issues related to queries or complaints and messages dealing with coronavirus outbreak as well as coordination of transport and other logistic services related to drugs and medical devices, it added.

In case any issue pertaining to other ministries or departments comes or is brought to the attention of DoP, the same is being flagged to authorities concerned as part of inter-departmental coordination and through empowered groups, the statement said.

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