As several people are panic buying ‘essential goods’ across the globe and the demand for hand sanitizers has skyrocketed, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi made their own disinfectant. The director, Ramgopal Rao, of IIT Delhi recently took to Facebook to share how the institute was facing a shortage problem and how the Chemistry professors prepared the hand sanitizers in the campus itself. Calling it the ‘spirit’ to combat coronavirus, Rao, in the post, informed that within two days the campus has 50 litres of hand sanitizers meeting the WHO standard.
The caption of the post read, "At IIT Delhi, we were facing issues getting Hand sanitizers in large quantities. Even when they were available, vendors were charging exorbitant amounts and quality was suspect. Out of frustration, I told one of our Chemistry professors, why don't you guys prepare them in IIT, why is it such a big deal? He replied, for such a small thing, you don't need an IIT Professor, it can be done by our technical staff”.
Rao further wrote, “Lo and behold, in flat two days, we have 50 litres of hand sanitizers meeting WHO standard (certified by IIT Profs). All at a negligible price. Head, Chemistry sent an email to all other departments saying anyone who needs them, can come and collect. That is the ‘spirit' needed to fight Corona”.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs slashed the prices of essentials like sanitises and mask in the country. The government capped the price of two-ply masks at Rs. 8 and three-ply at Rs. 10. Additionally, the retail price of hand sanitizers of a 200 ml bottle is capped at Rs. 100. Furthermore, discouraging the hoarding of medical masks and hand disinfectant amid the pandemic, the Centre has stated that stringent action will be taken against those hoarding the essential protective equipment.
Currently, there are 275 confirmed cases of the novel Coronavirus in India with one death reported in Mumbai, Delhi, Kalaburagi and Punjab each. In Delhi, 26 people have tested positive for COVID-19. Addressing the nation on Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi talked extensively about the challenges caused due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
He stressed that “resolve” and “restraint” were the two most important things to be followed. Thereafter, he announced that Janta Curfew - a curfew for the people and of the people would be observed on Sunday, March 22. On this day, all citizens except those providing essential services were requested not to step out of the house from 7 am to 9 pm.