KUNAL CHATTERJEE, Kolkata: Despite assurances by Bengal government, most medicine distributors and dealers in Kolkata are not getting the stock that they had ordered almost a month ago. The worry is that apart from the ones who need it most, the staff at these medicine shops will not be paid their salaries in the event of dwindling sales.
Barun Purkait, owner of a medicine distribution company, has been able to pay his employees for the month of March, but he is apprehensive about whether he will be able to do so from April. “We were given to understand that medicine supply will be regular during the lockdown period. Unfortunately, we have not even received the stock that we had ordered in mid-March. Most of these medicines are for emergency cases and are used in the ICU and ITU. We source our medicines from companies based in Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh,” Purkait said.
Asish Das, owner of a dealership in the Burrabazar area, is facing a similar problem. “Our business depends on the sourcing of medicines and distributing them to the retailers. But in this present situation, the entire supply chain has been disrupted. The trucks carrying medicines are stuck at the border of states. Medicines worth crores of rupees will expire by the time they reach us,” Das said.
Sanjay Singh, a senior employee of a logistic company based in Bangalore, said, “All our vehicles have been halted at different parts of the country. Since the trucks carry many more things than just medicines, authorities are not allowing our vehicles to move. We are trying to convince them so that we can deliver the medical items as fast as possible.”