Last Updated on March 9, 2020 by The Health Master
HYDERABAD: As many as 16 medical shops in the city and its outskirts were sealed for overcharging customers for masks as state drug control authorities continued their raids for the second day.
Overall, 166 medical shops across the state were inspected by authorities. The hike in prices comes as a result of growing demand for N-95 masks following news of a 24-year-old software professional testing positive for Covid-19 earlier this week.
Earlier, authorities had asked medical shop owners to sell masks at MRP however many shops were found to be charging double the amount. Despite masks not falling under the category of drugs, it was decided during a multi-department meeting that shops would be sealed to check the rise in prices.
Medical shops, on their part, said that the rise in prices was due to an increased cost of procurement. They said that it was manufacturers and distributors who were profiting from this practice .
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“The cost of manufacturing masks has increased due to supply of raw material from Chine being cut. The rush to buy masks has led to many shopkeepers selling masks at higher prices,” health officials said.
Despite a general shortage of N-95 masks across the city, government hospitals treating suspected Covid-19 cases said they had sufficient stocks. “There is enough stock for patients.