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Pharmacy owners fear Indians are hoarding medicines, oxygen

Pharmacy owners in India’s northern state of Uttar Pradesh say the country’s COVID-19 crisis has made people panic and hoard medicines and supplies.

Many people were seen queuing outside pharmacies and oxygen facilities in Meerut, Ghaziabad and Moradabad on Friday (April 30), as hospitals remain short on supplies.

“Given this shortage, people are panicking and buying double or even triple the amount of medicines they need, which is presenting a problem for others,” said Sanjay Sharma, a pharmacy owner in Ghaziabad.

The world’s second-most populous country has reported more than 300,000 new infections daily for nine consecutive days, hitting another global record of 386,452 on Friday.

The surge has led to a public health crisis in India, forcing the government to seek oxygen, medicines and other essentials from countries around the world.

India’s first wave of the pandemic peaked in mid-September with 97,894 cases. The country is now reporting more than three times as many infections daily, taking the total number of cases to 18.8 million with 208,000 deaths.

(Production: Aiden Nutly, Michael Fiorentino)



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