Hoarding of face masks, sanitizers irk people in South Kashmir’s Pulwama

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By KNT on 23/03/2020.

Hoarding of face masks, sanitizers irk people in South Kashmir’s Pulwama

Pulwama, Mar 23: Days after the government invoked Epidemic Act and Disaster Management Act with the aim to cap the prices of things like face masks and hand sanitizers for which the demand has surged dramatically, things have turned quite the opposite for the common people in this south Kashmir district.

   Tens of medical shops from main chowk to District Hospital Pulwama deny of having any face masks available, even after having a good amount of stock.

  Even one medical shop owner, while responding to this reporter, said, “We don’t sell any face masks or hand sanitizers. DC Pulwama knows better about the supply. Go, ask him.”

  People who accuse district administration of inaction against hoarders say they are unable to find any mask form any shop. “I needed one for my elderly father but couldn’t find it,” said Altaf Ahmed to KNt.

  Another bystander near a medical shop, who was in need of a hand sanitizer, said, “These are testing times for all of us as a community and society but some greedy people are selfish and don’t understand the gravity of the situation. I am being told to wait for some days for hand sanitizers. I wonder how did they go out-of-stock.”

   Although, a simple soap and water would be substitute hand sanitizer and face masks have been recommended for doctors, paramedics and patients with flu, it still doesn’t absolve the authorities from their responsibilities of ensuring the availability of such items. This is especially important given the fact that WHO recently revealed that COVID-19 is airborne as far as closed spaces are concerned.

   District Develop Commissioner Pulwama, Dr Raghav Langer said that action will be taken against hoarders. He said that administration will ensure nobody takes advantage of the current crisis.

   Pertinently, after the COVID-19 was declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), panicky people started buying masks and hand sanitizers.

   As the demand for these items surged, governments intervened. In India, the Epidemic Act and Disaster Management Act were invoked as a consequence of which prices of these items were capped. However, hoarding of these items are giving tough time to the needy. (KNT)