The Karnataka Health and Family Welfare Department cancelled the licenses of 110 pharmacies across the state for violating an order related to managing the pandemic. Three of them were from Bengaluru, a note from the department said on Monday.
These stores were penalised as they failed to keep a record and inform the district authorities about persons purchasing medicines for symptoms of Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) and Influenza-like Illness (ILI), such as fever and the common cold. Pharmacies were asked to keep track of the sale of antipyretics, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergy and antitussive drugs like paracetamol, cetirizine, chlorpheniramine and cough syrups.
70 of these shops were from Ballari district alone, while Vijayapura had 15 such shops and 9 were from Raichur. No other district had more than five such instances.
A note issued by the department said this penal action was taken under the Karnataka Epidemic Disease (COVID-19) Regulation 2020.
According to the state COVID-19 War Room data published on Tuesday morning, among the 25,000+ COVID-19 cases in the state, 2,099 cases are among ILI patients and 436 are SARI patients with no relevant travel or contact history.
Experts and officials working in the state have earlier said that early detection of SARI/ILI cases increases their chances of survival.
The mortality rate of SARI and ILI patients in the state is also high. According to a mortality analysis data by the war room released on June 19, patients having SARI have a mortality rate of 56.38%, while ILI patients had a mortality rate of 27.71%.
Days into the pandemic, the state government had issued an order directing all pharma and drug stores to keep a note of all persons including their contact details as a measure of surveillance for COVID-19.
Similar orders were passed for private medical establishments to report patients with SARI/ILI symptoms or other symptoms of COVID-19.
Deccan Herald on June 14 had reported four Bengaluru clinics were shut as they did not report SARI/ ILI cases to the government.