In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, pharmacy shops across Karnataka have now been instructed to record the names and contact details of buyers purchasing medicines for fever, cough and common cold. The order has been issued by the state government to all chemists, druggists and pharmacists across hospitals to note down the contact details of all those purchasing medicines for the treatment of symptoms like fever (antipyretics and anti-inflammatory), cold (anti-allergic) and cough (anti-tussive).
As per sources, the decision was taken after a state-level Technical Expert Committee said that Influenza-like Illness (ILI) and Severely Acute Respiratory Illness (SARI) cases, whose symptoms are similar to that of COVID-l9 should be screened at the initial stages of symptoms.
As per the order, name of the buyer, address, landmark (of residence), and mobile number should be provided to the pharmacist/chemist who will note and record the details. Reportedly, the Health Department has clarified that the details of all those who buy medicines to treat cold, cough or fever and related symptoms will be noted.
According to the order, the drugs include Paracetamol of all dosage and strength, Cetirizine, Chlorpheniramine, and all types of cough syrups.
On the heels of the Centre, the Karnataka government on Wednesday, promulgated the Karnataka Epidemic Diseases Ordinance, 2020 - similar to the one Kerala had passed, giving the state government sweeping powers to seal borders, restrict essential services, punish those attacking public servants, property damage etc. Under the category of the offence, the ordinance mentions that 'all offences are cognizable and bailable' and can impose a 3-year jail term and a fine of upto Rs 50000. Karnataka currently has over 425 cases and 17 deaths.