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Coronavirus outbreak: Pharmacists claim wholesalers charging higher prices for N95 masks

Amid a shortage of protective masks, hand sanitisers, the Delhi government has constituted teams to take action against suppliers overcharging for masks and sanitizers and those hoarding these items.

Published: 14th March 2020 04:41 PM  |   Last Updated: 14th March 2020 04:41 PM   |  A+A-

Activists distribute masks to pedestrians in Hyderabad.

For representative purposes (Photo | AP)

By ANI

NEW DELHI: With wholesale dealers allegedly charging exorbitant prices, some pharmacies in the national capital have stopped selling N95 face masks which are in high demand in the markets due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"We have stopped selling N95 masks as the wholesale suppliers are selling it to us at high prices. And if we ask customers to pay the increased price, they fight with us thinking that it is we who are increasing the prices," said a pharmacist in Connaught Place.

Jitendra Singh, a man who was in the area to purchase a mask said, "I have come here to buy N95 masks but it is not available in the market. The few pharmacies that are selling the mask, are selling it at higher prices."

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Amid a shortage of protective masks and hand sanitisers, the Delhi government has constituted teams to take action against suppliers overcharging for masks and sanitizers and those hoarding these items.

Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain said on Saturday, "N95 masks should only be used by healthcare workers or those who are displaying symptoms, not healthy people. We have also constituted teams to take action against hoarding and overcharging for masks and sanitizers."

The total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in India rose to 89, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Saturday. So far, two deaths due to the lethal infection have been reported in the country.

The coronavirus, which originated in China's Wuhan city in December last year, has so far spread to more than 100 countries, infecting over 1,20,000 people.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared coronavirus a pandemic and Europe as its epicentre with more reported cases and deaths than the rest of the world combined, apart from China.

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