On Tuesday, approximately 3.25 lakh N-95 masks and 22 lakh three-ply surgical masks were recovered from warehouses in Mumbai.
Coronavirus in India: Amid fear of COVID-19 outbreak among Indians there’s a rush to secure stocks of essentials and medicines before stocks dwindle, in such times the seizure of huge quantities of surgical masks from Mumbai that was meant to be sold in the black market has come as a shock to all. ANI reported that on Wednesday, Mumbai Police raided and seized a consignment of 4 lakh face masks worth Rs 1 crore from a godown near Mumbai Airport Cargo Terminal. A case has been registered and details are awaited, ANI further added.
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Earlier on Tuesday, approximately 3.25 lakh N-95 masks and 22 lakh three-ply surgical masks were recovered from warehouses in Mumbai. HT reported that these raids were conducted by the crime branch on warehouses located in Bhiwani and Sahar village, Andheri East, and four people involved in the hoarding racket were arrested.
Mumbai police commissioner Parambir Singh and Maharashtra home minister Amil Deshmukh addressed media after Tuesday’s raid and said that police had acted on a tip-off and the accused were selling the masks at exorbitant rates as there is a shortage of safety masks in the city markets. Strict action would be taken against the accused, the authorities were quoted as saying in the report. Deputy Police Commissioner Akbar Pathan was quoted by HT as saying that the accused were selling the three-ply masks for ten times its cost and the N-95 masks for thrice the amount in the black market.
After a lockdown was clamped in the country for 21 days beginning Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi assured Indians that the authorities would ensure a supply of lifesaving drugs and commodities, and as fear of coronavirus spreads among citizens it is but natural that they would rush to buy masks to keep themselves secure. The government has also asked states to allow deodorant manufacturers to produce hand sanitizers and ramped up the production of masks to ensure there’s no shortage in the markets.