India has ample stock of medicines for next two months

The government on Thursday said India has ample stock of drugs for the next two months, allaying concerns over shortage of medicines in the wake of the coronavirus epidemic in China, one of the largest suppliers of active pharmaceutical ingredients.

“We have planned everything beforehand…There is no shortage of medicines so far, and if there is any in future will also be tackled swiftly,” said Harsh Vardhan, Union health minister.

“While the World Health Organisation (WHO) took time to declare COVID 2019 a global public health concern, we had started monitoring and surveillance much before that.”

The minister said all those who have travelled to China in December 2019 are being monitored and people who came in contact with them have been traced.

“We have good and effective co-ordination among ministries, robust surveillance system, network of laboratories to support diagnosis, upgraded medical facilities, trained health work force and media presence that can reach even remote areas. We have put all these resources at our disposal to prevent and contain outbreak of novel coronavirus in India,” he said.

The COVID19 is highly infectious but its case fatality is about 2% in mainland China and less that 0.2% outside China, he said, adding many of the epidemiological parameters of this disease are not known.

Authorities have been conducting surveillance at Points of Entry (PoE) at 21 Airports, 12 major ports, 65 minor ports and six land crossings.

A total of 251, 447 people from 2315 flights have been screened at airports so far, and three suspected cases and 161 contacts have been identified. Around 5490 passengers and and 285 crew members have been screened at major and minor ports.

Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) officers have been carrying out surveillance of passengers travelling from China, Singapore, Thailand, South Korea and Japan. A total of 15991 persons have been followed up for a period of 28 days. Of these, 3,058 people have been under observation for 28 days. In all, 497 suspected cases have been isolated.

As many as 645 Indians and 7 Maldivians have been evacuated from China’s Wuhan, and kept in two special camps. They are likely to be discharged once all test negative after 14 days.

“India has extended support to Maldives in testing samples and Bhutan in managing COVID-19. India has agreed to support Afghanistan in testing samples. India has also extended help to China by sending essential items to combat COVID2019,” Harsh Vardhan said.

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