COVID-19: Maharashtra fixes prices for face masks to check profiteering

Double and triple layered masks cannot be sold for more than ₹3 and ₹4 respectively, while N95 masks would have to be priced between ₹19 and ₹49

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The Maharashtra government has capped the rates for N95 and double and triple layer masks for suppliers and private hospitals.

Now, double and triple layered masks in the state cannot be sold for more than ₹3 and ₹4 respectively, while N95 masks would have to be priced between ₹19 and ₹49, state health minister Rajesh Tope said.

“Suppliers can quote 70 per cent of MRP of the mask while hospitals can charge patients up to 110 per cent of the purchase price. No hospital will be allowed to charge more than 110 per cent of the procurement price,” Tope said.

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The Maharashtra government’s decision to fix prices of masks is aimed at keeping a tab on profiteering even as Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s campaign ‘My family, my responsibility’ emphasizes on wearing masks at public places without fail.

Maharashtra has 1,74,755 active cases as it continues to be the worst affected state by COVID-19 in the country. A total of 13,92,308 patients have recovered and 42,453 have died so far.

India’s COVID-19 tally crossed the 76-lakh mark (76,51,108) with a spike of 54,044 new cases and 717 deaths in the last 24 hours, the Union Ministry of Health said.

Related news: UN warns against pursuing herd immunity to stop COVID-19

Wearing mask in public places is mandatory for all citizens as part of the government’s guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Meanwhile Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday (October 20) addressed the nation to convey his wishes ahead of the festive season and also reminded the citizens that the pandemic is still around, cautioning them against behaviours that may lead to a spike across the country.

“In this festive season, markets are bright again but we need to remember lockdown might have ended, but COVID-19 still persists. With efforts of every Indian over last 7-8 months, India is in a stable situation we must not let it deteriorate,” ANI quoted Modi as saying.

Related news: ‘COVID-19 still persists’: Modi warns ahead of festive season

Cautioning the citizens against negligent behaviour, Modi recalled some photos and videos where it was “clearly seen that people are not careful anymore.” “This is not right. If you step out without mask, you put your families at risk. We must remember – whether it is America or Europe, cases declined and then there was sudden spike,” he said.

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