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Health department moves to check hoarding of masks, hand sanitisers

The health department has issued a circular directing all retailers, whole-sellers and distributors of medicines to follow the directive immediately.

The Statesman Desk | New Delhi |

The health department has decided to restrict excessive stocking of masks and hand sanitisers in retail chemist shops across the state in a bid to prevent the black marketing of these two essential items amidst the Covid-19 outbreak. The health department has issued a circular directing all retailers, whole-sellers and distributors of medicines to follow the directive immediately.

A retail chemist shop can stock a maximum of 200 masks of two or three ply type. A wholesale outlet will not be allowed to stock more than a hundred N95 masks. A retail chemist shop owner can stock a maximum of five litres of sanitiser, according to the circular.

Some retailers in the city said this type of circular is a hollow measure at a time when most of the big and small medicine shops across the state do not have these items. It’s too late to prevent the black marketing because a large number of consumers have already bought up masks and sanitisers coughing up extra cash.

Meanwhile, considering the spurt in number of COVID-19-affected patients in the state, AMRI Hospitals has decided to set up a wellequipped isolation wards accommodating 50 beds at the annex building at its Salt Lake unit.

The building has 12 critical care isolation beds on one floor with life-saving support system like ventilators and dialysis equipment and experienced doctors, nurses and other medical staff for serious coronavirus cases. Besides this critical care unit the building has 38 other isolation beds on another floor, according to sources in the group.