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Coronavirus: Govt caps price of hand sanitizers at Rs 100 for 200 ml

Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said the Indian market has registered a massive surge in the prices of hand sanitizers and face masks and has therefore decided to fix the same for the convenience of the consumers.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Published: March 21, 2020 10:14:53 am
coronavirus, coronavirus India, coronavirus hand sanitisers, hand sanitisers price, face mask price Hand sanitizer and protective masks are displayed for sale at a pharmacy in New Delhi. (Source: Bloomberg)

Amid panic-purchasing over fears of the novel coronavirus, the Centre has capped the prices of hand sanitisers and face masks in order to prevent shops from overcharging customers.

Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Friday said the Indian market has registered a massive surge in the prices of the two essential items and has therefore decided to fix the same for the convenience of the consumers.

“Since the outbreak of coronavirus, the market has seen a huge increase in the prices of various face masks and materials used in its manufacture and hand sanitizer. Taking this seriously, the government has fixed their prices,” Paswan announced on the micro-blogging site.

Under the Essential Commodities Act, Paswan said the cost of fabric used in two-and three-ply masks will remain the same as it was on February 12 — Rs 8 and Rs 10 respectively.

The minister also announced that a 200 ml bottle of hand sanitizer could not cost more than Rs 100.

“Other sizes of the bottle will also be priced in the same proportion. These prices will be applicable across the country till June 30,” he added.

The number of positive cases in India rose to 258 Saturday, from 236 a day earlier. With 63 cases reported on Friday itself, the government decided to change the testing criteria for COVID-19 to include all pneumonia cases, regardless of travel or contact history. Earlier, testing was limited to symptomatic patients with travel or contact history, and symptomatic health workers with contact history. While 22 have recovered so far, four have died.

Also read | The US resident with 17,700 bottles of hand sanitizer just donated them

In an attempt to curb the spread of the virus, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called for a ‘Janata curfew’ on March 22 (Sunday) asking people not to step out of their homes between 7 am and 9 pm. The Indian Railways, in an extraordinary decision, said it would stop its services across the country to observe the curfew.

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