Consumers’ demand for hand sanitisers has increased in recent weeks

Itanagar: Amid the coronavirus pandemic across the globe, a massive shortage of hand sanitisers and masks has created havoc in Arunachal Pradesh capital Itanagar.

This comes at a time when the state health department has issued an advisory announcing that cleaning hands with either soap and water, or an alcohol-based solution, is one of the best ways to avoid infection from the deadly virus.

Consumers’ demand for hand sanitisers has increased manifold in recent weeks, said H Khan, a pharmacist near Ramakrishna Mission Hospital in Itanagar.

“After the news that the highly infectious coronavirus has reached India, people living in Itanagar are panicking. We are now selling about 25 to 30 sanitisers on an average every day,” said Khan.

“None of the medical stores has hand sanitisers or masks and we don’t know when the next batch of supplies is arriving to the market as the distributors are also silent,” said Khan.

Drug store in Itanagar

Same is the story in other pharmacies. Another pharmacist, on condition of anonymity, said that the medical store owners are reluctant to bring in fresh supplies of hand sanitisers as prices are too high due to the present demand in the market over the coronavirus scare.

Calls were made to Itanagar deputy commissioner Komkar Dulom for his comments on the matter. However, they remained unanswered till the filing of this report..

State health minister Alo Libang on Monday conducted an emergency meeting at the directorate of health services in Naharlagun to take the stock of preparedness and strategies adopted for cluster containment of any case of coronavirus or COVID-19, if and when detected in the state.

He, however, was unavailable for comment over the ‘shortage’ of hand sanitisers and masks in the state capital.

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