Bhopal: Amid fears of COVID-19 spread, people are stocking up medicines and other emergency essentials anticipating a shortage, although medical experts are of the opinion that items like masks should only be used when a person has symptoms to avoid the spread.
After the Rashtrapati Bhavan decided not to organise the traditional Holi gatherings as a precautionary measure, PM Narendra Modi tweeted that people must be careful about rumours being regarding COVID-19. The state government too has initiated a ‘Namaste, Aadaab’ campaign, asking people to avoid handshake.
But COVID-19 hasn’t deterred people from Holi festivities, which are still being planned with a gusto. “We are organising a massive Holi event and COVID-19 would not dampen the event. We would be cautious for sure and appoint a doctor to detect people with symptoms of COVID-19 at the entrance,” said a Ratibad resort event manager Arun Malviya. Going for a dry and delightful Holi with no water balloons, paints and pichkaris is not on the agenda of many people in Bhopal.
Masks are available in stores, but do they really help is a question on the minds of many. “Doctors are not recommending the measure. Since no vaccines are currently available for COVID-19, the most effective weapon in such a situation seems to be a face mask,” said a pharmacist.
Medical community, however, is divided over the effectiveness of masks, indicating that hand-wash and sanitising surfaces is the best way to keep oneself safe. Going by estimates, there are around 22,000 face masks with the state help department. However, N95 masks are selling for upwards of Rs 300 in some stores.
“There is a spurt in demand of masks. However, it is not like Delhi where things like hand sanitizers have vanished from the market,” said Adtiya, a pharmacist. “Medical supplies for now is being maintained. There are rumours about short supply of essential salts and reagents, but we are witnessing any shortage.”
A representative of MP medical suppliers association Lalit Jain said, “We have urged all sellers and retailers not to hoard and keep the supply lines open, so that prices don’t shoot up.-Times Of India