Despite the UT Administration making wearing masks or covering one’s nose and mouth with some layer compulsory, most pharmacists from across the city, say that they no longer stock masks.
Newsline spoke to ten chemists from the city, and only one store owner claimed to be selling masks and recorded that the demand for masks has increased by 30 per cent since the decision to make masks compulsory was announced in the city.
Narendra Gupta, owner of Gupta Medicos in Sector 1 claimed that he has been able to procure cloth masks easily and has recorded a significant jump in the demand for masks since Wednesday. “Earlier there was a shortage of supply and hence the prices surged and some chemists exploited it by overcharging. Now there is an MRP of Rs 10 on cloth masks so it is a clean business and we are happy to supply these masks at MRP. It is profitable also since the demand is high,” said Gupta.“They are cheaper, and can be washed and reused also, so people prefer these,” he said.
Apart from Gupta, however, most pharmacy staff said, they do not sell masks. Saurabh Kansal, owner of Kansal medicals in Sector 15 said, they do not sell masks, and prefer to sell regular medications instead. “I am not aware of the ruling which makes this compulsory, but we don’t sell masks anymore,” he said.
A drug control officer said, “People can buy the masks made by the inmates of Burail jail in Sector 22 and also procure it from the Sector 16 dispensary.”
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