If complete chaos is being witnessed at Sabzi Mandi, the epicentre of Covid-19 infection in Ludhiana, social distancing was completely amiss at Pindi Street wholesale medicine market in Chaura Bazar here.
The biggest wholesale drugs and medical supplies market of the northern region, Pindi Street has been seeing huge rush these days.
Not giving two hoots to government’s guidelines concerning Covid-19, the traders appear least bothered about the spread of the virus.
From the rush at Pindi Street, it appears that no lesson has been learnt from the death of ACP Anil Kohli, who is suspected to have caught the Covid-19 infection while managing crowd at Sabzi Mandi.
“The market has been receiving rush just like any other day. While some shops have got the license to operate, there are many wholesalers who are operating illegally. Instead of taking action against the violators, even the police are looking the other way,” said one of the employees working for a drug store in the market.
Another employee said that even schedule H drugs, particularly de-addition drugs, are also being sold unabatedly.
“Even ayurvedic medicine wholesalers are receiving huge rush of people demanding immunity booster medicines. While the business could be justified, but what if a COVID-19 positive patient, who is asymptomatic, enters the market and spread the virus. There should be some mechanism in place. We are poor people and do not have any other source of earning. If we object, we will be thrown out of the job,” said the employee.
Ludhiana Wholesale Chemist Association president GS Chawla said that like everyone else, the chemists are also worried about their health and the well being of our children and they are taking every precaution to protect themselves from the virus.
“There are 400 wholesalers in the narrow streets of the market. Of the total, nearly 200 have the pass to supply medicines. Besides the owners of these wholesale shops, 800 to 900 people employed in these shops visit the market daily. Apart from them, traders from other parts of the state also visit the Pindi Street market. The crowd mainly involves these people and rush mainly appears because of congested street,” he said.