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Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Pune: Amid coronavirus fears, man held for stealing masks from hospital

An international conference on air pollution, which was to be hosted at Indian Institution of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune, has been called off in the wake of coronavirus outbreak.

By: Express News Service | Pune | Updated: March 8, 2020 10:37:37 pm
Pune: Amid coronavirus fears, man held for stealing masks from hospital The accused identified as Suyash Pandhare, who works at the pharmacy of a private hospital near Pune railway station, stole two boxes containing 200 masks along with some injections. (Representational/AP Photo/Channi Anand)

A 28-year-old pharmacist has been arrested for allegedly stealing 200 masks and medicine worth Rs 35,000 from the pharmacy of a private hospital in Koregaon Park.

According to the Koregaon Park police, the accused identified as Suyash Pandhare, who works at the pharmacy of a private hospital near Pune railway station, stole two boxes containing 200 masks along with some injections, medicine and ointment.

Sub-inspector Shrikant Gurav of Koregaon Park police station said, “The incident came to light on Saturday morning when the inventory of the items in the pharmacy was checked. It is suspected that he stole the masks medicine worth Rs 35,000 on the intervening night of Friday and Saturday and was planning to sell them outside. He was later arrested based on primary information and subsequent probe.”

A surge in the demand of the masks and hand sanitisers has been reported in the recent past in the backdrop of outbreak of coronavirus across the globe. Many pharmacy shops in the city have reported shortage in the supply of these items and have also been selling them at increased prices.

Coronavirus: International conference on air pollution called off

An international conference on air pollution, which was to be hosted at Indian Institution of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune, has been called off in the wake of coronavirus outbreak.

The conference, titled Challenges of Air Quality in Megacities (CAGMe-2020), was scheduled from March 23 to 26. The aim of the conference was to understanding air quality in major cities around the world and an attempt to bridge the gap between air quality science and services and link the information while providing urban weather services.

“The organisers of CAGMe-2020 have reviewed the emergency situation out of the outbreak of novel-coronavirus. As health and safety of esteemed delegates and guests are paramount, CAGMe-2020 is officially postponed until further notice,” the statement from the local organising committee stated.

The meet would have seen attendance from researchers from across UK, USA, Switzerland and other countries, along with experts from major Indian cities and institutions. The conference was being organised by System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research team (SAFAR) at IITM.

In all, 250 research paper abstracts and 350 registrations were confirmed for the conference.

“The risk of contracting the virus in Pune may be probably low, though it may increase during international transit,” the statement added as one of the reasons for calling off the conference.

The meeting had lined up discussions on air quality linked with modelling and multi-hazard early warning system; monsoon or climate change; human health, management, mitigation and social dimensions and others.

The conference would have ended with a day-long training workshop on March 27, wherein researchers working in air quality and health experts would be trained for effective communication and issuing warnings to general public.

In a similar move, all major upcoming events hosted at Savitribai Phule Pune University have been cancelled, following the directives issued by the University Grants Commission in the wake of coronavirus outbreak.

By Anjali Marar

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