Amid the shortage of masks and sanitizers during the lockdown, the pharmacists in Hyderabad have alleged that the wholesalers have been selling these products at unreasonably high prices.
"There is a shortage of masks in the market. We don't have any stocks. There is a lot of demand but we are unable to get them at reasonable prices from the wholesalers. Genuine sanitisers with a certified brand are not available. We urge the government to take this issue seriously," Praveen Kumar, a pharmacist, told ANI.
While another pharmacist Ramesh said, "The wholesalers are selling masks and sanitisers at a higher cost than what is fixed by the government. How can we then purchase masks and sanitisers from them and sell these at a higher price to the customers? Therefore, we are not getting any stock."
A customer Joseph Vijay said, "I have come here from a far distant place to purchase a mask since it is not available near my house. The masks are not even available at the store in the Gandhi Hospital here."
The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has asked Health Secretaries and Chief Secretaries of all States to ensure the availability and distribution of masks, gloves, and sanitisers in view of the situation arising out of coronavirus pandemic. It also urged to resolve the issues in the movement of stock and manpower on priority to ensure uninterrupted production and supply of medicines and medical devices in the country.
India has witnessed a swell in Coronavirus cases as the number of infected individuals crossed the 1000 figure mark. As on March 29, the number of Covid-19 positive cases stand at 1024, of which 27 have succumbed to the virus while 95 have been recovered and discharged according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.