After noticing that prices of sanitisers and masks going up by the day, the Maharashtra government has included these two items under the Essential Commodities Act up to June 30. The government has taken this decision to make these commodities available at a fair price for citizens. Both masks (2-ply and 3-ply surgical masks, N 95 masks) and hand sanitisers have been brought under the Essential Commodities Act.
The decision would empower the state to regulate the production, quality and distribution of hand sanitisers and masks. Taking cognizance of the rising cases of hoarding and black marketing by Coronavirus suppliers, the government has been compelled to take this bold step.
Talking on the same, State Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) minister Rajendra Shingne said, “Strict action will be taken against suppliers indulging in black marketing of these commodities.” The government has taken action against suppliers who hoard sanitisers and masks at 22 locations of the state. Shingne has also asked medical stores to stop the sale of suspected fake sanitisers. Various sub-standard and fake sanitiser manufacturing units have emerged across the country amid the Coronavirus outbreak. Shingne also warned that excess usage of sanitisers will cause damage to health. Maharashtra is already witnessing shortage of masks and hand sanitisers and therefore the government is procuring these commodities from other states.”
There has been a surge in number of Coronavirus cases in Maharashtra with the number of persons infected by the virus reaching 43. As a precautionary measure, people have been using masks and sanitisers to combat Coronavirus. There has been a huge demand for masks and hand sanitisers. As a result of this there has been a massive shortage of masks and hand sanitisers. Taking advantage of the rising shortage of these commodities, suppliers have been selling fake masks and hand sanitisers. Therefore Shingne said that the government is planning to take stringent action against hoarders and black marketers of masks and hand sanitisers. The Maharashtra government has taken various steps to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.
Despite this, there has been a rise in the number of cases of Coronavirus. The government has asked schools, colleges and malls to shut down till March 31. The government has also asked various temples in the state to shut till March 31. Prominent temples which have been asked to shut include Siddhivinayak Temple, Shitladevi Temple, Tuljabhavani Temple, Shirdi Sai Baba Temple and Dagdusheth Halwai Temple among others.