Medicine stores to remain shut for 24 hours

Bhubaneswar: Medicine stores will remain closed for 24 hours starting midnight today following a strike called by All India Organisation of Chemist and Druggist across the country. In the state, Utkal Chemist and Druggist Association (UCDA) will be observing the strike. However, chemists in Cuttack have opted out from taking part in the strike.

The strike has been called protesting the online sale of medicines and e-portals set up for medicines by the Central government. Odisha has over 17,000 medicine stores. Shutting them for 24 hours will affect the public health services in a major way. Around 2,000 medicine stores in Cuttack will remain open despite the strike in rest of the state.

Odisha government today issued direction to authorities of medical college hospitals, state run hospitals and others to remain in readiness to meet the eventualities.

“We have issued direction to authorities of medical colleges and hospitals to keep essential medicines including live saving drugs in readiness to meet the demand,” Health and Family Welfare secretary P K Meherda told reporters.