Alleging negligence on the part of the Central government, 42,300 chemists and drug distributors across Northeast are likely to go for an indefinite “lockdown” after their demand for Covid19 vaccine jabs find no response.
“There are 9.40 lakh chemists and drug distributors in India. We will go for an indefinite lockdown after our several pleas to vaccinate the community went in vain,” said Rajiv Singhal, general secretary of All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD).
“Chemists and drug distributors from the Northeast will also join us,” Singhal added.
The final call for such a lockdown will be taken in the national body meeting scheduled this week.
Singhal said, “The members keep interacting with the people, especially Covid19 patients, on a regular basis and that is why they are demanding the Central government to give us vaccination on priority basis.”
The organisation has written letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan and Niti Aayog member (heath) Dr VK Paul in this connection.
Singhal alleged that after they wrote the first letter to Union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, their appeal was forwarded to the Prime Minister Office (PMO).
The grievance cell of the PMO forwarded the letter to the Niti Aayog. However, as of now the organization did not get any response from the Niti Aayog.
“It’s an irony that even after playing such a critical role in India’s fight against vaccination we are given a step motherly attitude,” said Singhal.
He informed that since March last year, more than 350 chemists and drug distributors from across India have lost their lives while fighting Covid19.
In a communication to Niti Aayog member Dr Paul, the AIOCD has said that medicine dealers are in the essential service sector and have been most vulnerable to infection as it’s a first contact point with the common public while dispensing medicine.
In the letter to Dr Paul, Singhal said, “We request you to ask all the state government to include medicine trade category chemist, pharmacists, owners, whole-sellers, distributors, C&FA’s together with support staff and family members on priority list of vaccination programme immediately so that the chemists fraternity can serve the people without the fear of Covid.”