With the lockdown in Kashmir entering its ninth day on Tuesday, chemists in Srinagar said their stocks were getting depleted and they were unable to order fresh stocks.
“People are apprehensive about the situation, so they are stocking medicines in large quantities at home, especially essential medicines like insulin,” said Hafeez Ahmad, an employee at a chemist shop in Srinagar’s Karannagar. “The worry is that our stocks have started to go down and we cannot order fresh stocks. In the absence of any form of communication, we are unable to reach stockists.”
At Srinagar’s Lal Chowk, only one chemist shop was open on Tuesday. “We had ordered a huge quantity of medicines because we were apprehending such a situation. But our stock has now started to go down. Since the telephone is down, I cannot call my distributor,” said the owner of the shop.
The restrictions have also made it difficult for residents to reach the shops that are open.
Mohammed Shaban, a resident of Nawabazar, said he had to visit multiple outlets to get medicines for his mother, who is suffering from a lung disease. “In Srinagar, most chemist shops are closed. It took me three hours to get the medicines,” he said.
On Tuesday, the J&K administration said in a statement that medical services were being provided to people without hindrance. “Availability of all drugs, including the life-saving, have been ensured in every hospital across the Valley,” the statement said.
Srinagar hospitals said they had life-saving drugs in stock. “We have sufficient quantity of drugs with us. If required we will order more,” said an official at SMHS Hospital.