10 pharmacies asked to close for a day for breach of norms - Deccan Chronicle

VIJAYAWADA: The drugs control administration (DCA) authorities carried out raids on pharmacies and directed 10 of them to close for the day for failing to enter details of Covid-19 suspected patients on the software application ‘Covid-19 Pharma AP’ in East Godavari on Monday.

The state government has been taking up preparatory work by keeping check on availability of beds, medical oxygen, medicines and a host of other things to face the third wave of the Coronavirus effectively to minimise its impact and avoid loss of life.

As part of it, the office of commissioner of health and public welfare relaunched the updated CPAP recently, directing all the pharmacies in the state to enter the details of people suffering from Covid related symptoms like cold, cough, fever, headache, body pains and comorbidities when they visit the pharmacies seeking medicines. The software application is designed in such a way that soon after entry of details of people including their name, residential address, mobile phone number and Aadhaar number (not mandatory) and the medicines they purchased, the concerned medical officer or health staff located in the vicinity gets an alert.

Soon after, the medical officer or health staff is supposed to visit the house of the suspect person and inquire about his or her health and accordingly, he or she is guided either to stay put at home isolation or referred to either a Covid care centre or to a Covid hospital for medical treatment based on the severity of the symptoms of the disease. The move is aimed to avoid spread of the Coronavirus through such suspect cases.

However, the drugs control administration authorities noticed that some pharmacies were failing to use the app to make entry of details of suspect cases for varied reasons, defeating the very purpose for which it has been developed. To set things right, they carried out raids in Kakinada and Rajahmundry and found 10 pharmacies not entering details of patients in the app and directed them to close for the day.

East Godavari drugs control administration assistant director D. Nagamani said, “As the state government is bracing up to face the third wave of Covid pandemic by initiating a series of steps to minimise its impact, some pharmacies are failing to use the CPAP to make entries of suspect cases.

Such lacunae on their part will make suspect cases, in case they are Covid positive unknowingly, to become superspreaders of the virus. So, we carried out raids on some pharmacies and asked them to close for the day when they failed to make entries in the app, to serve as a deterrent to other pharmacies. We are not booking any case and if they show evidence of usage of the app, we will allow them to open the pharmacies immediately.”

On the other hand, the DCA authorities are carrying out an intense sensitisation campaign asking the pharmacies to use the app without fail so that it helps identify the Covid suspect cases and get medical care.

Andhra Pradesh has nearly 27,000 retail pharmacies and the DCA authorities are keeping a close watch on them all over the state to ensure proper usage of the CPAP as a section of pharmacists are complaining that some people, whose details are shared with health authorities, are quarrelling with them for sharing details without their consent while some are giving wrong information with regard to their name, address and phone number to avoid detection.

Visakhapatnam drugs control administration deputy director K. Raja Bhanu said, “We have been asking the pharmacies to use the CPAP as it helps avoid spread of Covid from suspected cases by early detection and treatment.”

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