We have adequate pharma capacity to fight virus: Govt

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Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilizers Manuskh Mandaviya assured that there are enough medicines in the country to tackle the problem. (Representational Image)

The Union government on Saturday said that the "Janata Curfew" on Sunday, proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, should be viewed with the larger of idea of "insulating people" to prevent the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in the country, and also assured the nation that there are enough medicines in the country to tackle the problem.

At a briefing on Cabinet decisions, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, "Janata curfew should be seen in the larger context of the initiative to insulate people, with voluntary involvement of people. It is a matter of great assurance that the people have responded very positively...and (it is) very important that people remain indoors—social distancing is a part of the process to contain this virus.”

Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar said that reports from across the country indicate that “everyone is prepared (for a voluntary curfew on Sunday) because we are determined to defeat coronavirus”. He said while the epidemic is "definitely a problem", it is important that people should not panic but have to be cautious.

Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilizers Manuskh Mandaviya assured that there are enough medicines in the country to tackle the problem, and said there is no crisis of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients to make medicines.

He said: “India has the capacity to fight coronavirus”. Mandaviya added that there are “more than 2 crore immunity-boosting medicine tablets available in the country”.

The minister said there are close to 12,000 big and small pharma units in the country that not only fulfil the domestic needs but also exports them. “Whatever requirements the country has to face coronavirus we are ready to fulfil them,” he said.

Mandaviya said that as per last week's assessment there are more than 112 manufacturing units in the country, producing 1.5 crore masks every day. Similarly, he said, enough hand sanitisers are also being manufactured in the country.

He said that the supply of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients had been disturbed for a while, due to China being one of the worst hit countries, but India “has the APIs to last three to four months”.

He added that wherever Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient production had stopped internationally, they have started producing again and have even started dispatching new consignments. “There is no possibility of API crisis in the country,” said Mandaviya.

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