Chennai

‘Ready to sell masks at procurement price’

Amid complaints of masks being sold for high prices, the Tamil Nadu Chemists’ and Druggists’ Association has assured the State government that it is ready to sell surgical masks — in two-ply or three-ply — as well as N95 masks for the procurement price.

Shortly after meeting the Health Minister and senior health officials, K.K. Selvan, general secretary of the association, told reporters that though masks and hand sanitisers were declared essential commodities, the Centre was yet to fix the rates for both commodities. He said that both masks and hand sanitisers do not fall under the Drug Price Control Order.

“The market rates of masks vary each day and according to place. For instance, the price of two-ply masks earlier was ₹5-6 and now, it is being sold for ₹15-20. In Chennai, these masks are priced at ₹25 today. N95 masks are sold for ₹350-375,” he told reporters.

However, he said that the problem was that people were buying more masks than they needed. Similarly, there was an increase in the purchase of hand sanitisers, he said. Officials said the Department had sealed 32 medical shops across the State for selling masks at higher rates.

The Tamil Nadu Government Doctors’ Association has urged doctors, except those involved in the management of COVID-19 and emergencies, to stay as a “reserve force”, according to its president K. Senthil..

“Doctors, paramedics – except those in COVID-19 management and emergencies – hunker down. Stop outpatient duty and elective procedures….Come in turns. This is not for your own safety but also to be a reserve if the frontline specialists and doctors are not enough,” he told the doctors in a message.

He asked them to discourage hospital visits for minor ailments and to stop meetings. Doctors at workplaces are the biggest source of infection, he added.

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Printable version | Sep 29, 2020 10:46:50 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/ready-to-sell-masks-at-procurement-price/article31123412.ece

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