Even as the Central Government has announced masks and hand sanitisers as essential commodities, several cases of hoarding these items, manufacturing fake products and black marketing have come to the fore. In one such case, 25 lakh masks, including three lakh N95 masks, amounting to Rs 15 crore stored for black marketing, were seized from godowns in Mumbai. Four people were also arrested in connection with the case, said Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh on Tuesday.
"Police have seized 25 lakh masks from godowns in Andheri and Bhiwandi including 3 lakh N95 masks with total worth Rs 15 crore. Masks were stored for black marketing," Deshmukh told ANI.
While four men have been arrested under the Essential Commodity Act, two are absconding, the Maharashtra Home Minister added. The raid took place at a time when masks are in heavy demand in the country, ever since the cases of Coronavirus started increasing rapidly.
The total number of COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra surged to 107 after six more cases were detected from Mumbai and Ahmednagar district, an official said on Tuesday. In the last four days, daily detection figure of positive cases in the state is rising in double digits. Meanwhile, 12 Cornavirus patients have been cured in Maharashtra.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray announced a curfew across the state, starting from Monday midnight amid the novel Coronavirus outbreak. However, essential services such as grocery, milk, medical shops, etc. remain open. All places of worship have also been closed. Moreover, all forms of public transport will not be operational. In one private vehicle, only the driver along with two passengers will be permitted if they are going out for unavoidable reasons. Furthermore, all the district borders within the state will be sealed.
A total lockdown has been announced in several states and union territories. On the other hand, 6 states and union territories have placed only some areas under lockdown. The total number of active COVID-19 cases reported so far in the country has crossed 500, with Maharashtra recording the highest number of cases.
(With inputs from ANI)