Like other essential items and transport fuel, ethnic violence-hit Manipur is also facing an acute shortage of life-saving drugs.
The Manipur Chemists and Druggists Association (MCDA) on Friday urged the state government to take immediate steps to address this critical issue arising out of the shortage of life-saving drugs.
The MCDA had earlier raised the issue with Manipur Health Minister Sapam Ranjan, but no concrete steps have been taken thus far.
MCDA President R.K. Rakesh told the media that around 12 trucks carrying essential medicines are stranded between Mao and Senapati, while another 14 trucks are stuck in Guwahati.
He said that the situation has been exacerbated due to panic buying by a large number of people and hoarding by a section of traders.
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Some pharmaceutical companies have taken steps to airlift drugs, but the volume of consignments is limited, rendering this measure insufficient to meet the demand.
Rakesh said that if this medicine crisis is not resolved by the next three to four days, a dire shortage of life-saving drugs would create dangerous problems for the ailing people in the state.
The Imphal-Dimapur (in Nagaland) and Imphal-Jiribam (along south Assam) National Highways are the two life lines of the landlocked state, but the miscreants are giving threats to the truck drivers to pay huge ransom to ply their vehicles on the Imphal-Dimapur National Highway.
Some tribal people and organisations, as part of their non-cooperation with the state government, are also occasionally blocking the National Highways, causing serious difficulties for the movement of the goods-laden trucks.
The Army and Assam Rifles are trying to provide security to Manipur-bound goods trucks to ensure continued supply of essentials to the violence-hit state.
According to a defence spokesman, since May 15, around 130 vehicles carrying essential items, including food grains, medicines etc., have entered Manipur through various highways.
In addition, the movement of vehicles is also being monitored by drones, according to the defence spokesperson.
The ethnic violence in Manipur since May 3 has claimed 73 lives besides injuring 250 others.
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