RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav on Wednesday urged the Nitish Kumar government in Bihar to facilitate manufacture of hand sanitizers, in great demand for prevention of the spread of coronavirus, at distilleries which have been lying shut due to prohibition in the state.
In a statement, Yadav, the leader of the opposition in the state assembly, said, Extraordinary decisions ought to be taken in public interest under extraordinary circumstances."
Yadav, who had served as Kumars deputy from December, 2015 to July, 2017, when prohibition was imposed, alleged that acute shortage has led to black marketing of hand sanitizers, and the government should consider augmenting production on a war footing.
The government could use dysfunctional distilleries and alcohol manufacturing units in the state for the purpose. It could also rope in companies specializing in hand sanitizers by signing MoUs.
Such a measure will help increase the availability of sanitizers to doctors, health workers and the public at large at affordable rates, said Yadav.
He also suggested that sugar mills in the state be directed to ensure steady supply of ethyl alcohol to such hand sanitizer manufacturing units.
According to experts, hand sanitizers must have an alcohol content of more than 60 per cent in order to be effctive against COVID-19 infection.
Doctors and paramedics at hospitals across the state have been complaining about shortage of masks, hand sanitizers and other protective equipment and demanding speedy replenishment, he claimed.
A complete prohibition is in force in Bihar since April 2016.
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