A Beijing drugstore will be penalised 3 million yuan ($434,530) for soaring up the prices of face masks by almost six times the online rate amid the widespread outbreak of deadly coronavirus, according to the Beijing Municipal market regulator on January 29. The epidemic was started in the central city of Wuhan late last year which has killed 132 people and infected more than 6000 in China. A notice for the penalty has been issued to the Beijing Jimin Kangtai Pharmacy for suddenly increasing the price of N95 masks, the regulator stated in a statement on its website.
The drugstore increased the price of a box of 3M brand masks to 850 yuan while the online price was just 143 yuan, according to the reports. Since last week, the regulator has come across 31 price violation cases. The municipal market regulator at Shanghai has ordered to shutter down a drugstore that sold masks at higher rates, according to the reports. The regulators have directed the store to refund buyers and dispose of unsold ones.
The number of people infected by the deadly Coronavirus outbreak has risen to nearly 6,000 in China, reports on Wednesday said. The virus originating from China's Wuhan has claimed the lives of 132 people in the country, while 5,974 new cases have been confirmed. By the end of Monday, a total of 4,515 cumulative confirmed cases of the novel virus had been reported in Hubei, while 2,567 patients are hospitalised, with 563 in severe conditions and 127 in critical conditions, the Hubei Provincial Health Commission said on Tuesday. Hospitals across the province received 31,934 fever patients on Monday, a state-run news agency reported.
Public health experts in Hong Kong had warned on Monday that there could be thousands of more carriers of this new and deadly virus from China, despite sweeping efforts to contain it. As the disease continues to spread rapidly, the health authorities around the world are taking action to prevent a global epidemic, with cases reported in Australia, France, the United States and several Asian countries besides China. The US and Japan airlifted hundreds of their nationals on Wednesday from China's Wuhan, which is the epicentre of the fatal virus. More than 50 million people have been locked down in and around Wuhan, in a bid by authorities to stop an infection that is spreading swiftly across the world.