Underlining the Centre’s preparedness to deal with COVID-19 , Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers D.V. Sadananda Gowda on Monday said there was sufficient stock of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) for the next three months.
As soon as this news came out from China [about the novel coronavirus outbreak ], we had a meeting with all the industrialists, pharma industrialists, and we took stock of the API. It is more than sufficient for another three months, Mr. Gowda told reporters.
The Union Minister said recently at the Pharma-2020 conclave in Ahmedabad that the pharma companies had assured him that there was no need to worry about the coronavirus (COVID-19).
In China also, apart from the two affected districts, other districts have started manufacturing API, he added.
Mr. Gowda, however, conceded that India did not take much interest in the earlier days for this formation of API parks, pharma parks and drug parks across the country.
Now, we have planned for that. We are going to have six mega pharma powers in various corners of the country, including one in Raichur, he said.
Mr. Gowda ruled out scarcity of masks or drugs to deal with COVID-19.
“I will tell you, there are two aspects. One is black-marketing and another is sending this false propaganda [about shortage]. I don’t think there is any scarcity. Of course, it has appeared in the newspapers,” the Minister said.
Following the reports, searches were carried out and some black-marketeers were found, said Mr. Gowda adding that everything has been resolved.
When asked that the drug controller had stated that masks do not come under his perview, Mr. Gowda said directions have been given by the Prime Minister and a group of five ministers, who are monitoring the situation.
He assured to hold a meeting with the officials in Karnataka to take stock of the situation.