Coronavirus scare: Five medical shops in Ghaziabad lose licence for hiking rates of masks, sanitisers

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The Ghaziabad administration has issued instructions regarding sale of hygiene products after a resident of the city tested positive for coronavirus. (Representational Image)

Licences of five medical shops in Ghaziabad were cancelled for allegedly selling hand sanitisers and pollution masks at inflated prices. While action was taken against two shops on Saturday, licences of three more were suspended the following day, said an official.

The Ghaziabad administration has issued instructions regarding sale of hygiene products after a resident of the city tested positive for coronavirus.

“We received information and inspections were carried out at medical shops along with officials of drug department. We found that some shops had been selling essential items at a higher price than the actual cost. This is a wrongful activity, especially at a time when people have to buy these products. Strict vigilance is taking place and more action will be taken if the activity continues in medical stores,” said Ajay Shankar Pandey, district magistrate (DM), Ghaziabad.

According to officials, the shops were identified after local residents complained of items being sold at inflated rates in several areas.

In one instance, an administrative official himself went to a shop to purchase a hand sanitiser when the shopkeeper quoted a higher price. In some cases, erring shopkeepers were also not providing customers with bills.

Drug inspectors have issued advisories to shopkeepers about selling hand sanitisers and masks at the regular price.

The administration has further urged locals to approach the district magistrate’s office if such activities continue. An appeal has also been made to the public to not hoard the same material as supply is sufficient.

A 57-year-old businessman from Ghaziabad, who had travelled to Tehran earlier, was diagnosed with coronavirus on Friday.

The patient is currently being treated in Delhi. Soon after, Ghaziabad administration set up three e-mail IDs and a helpline number for those seeking information about symptoms and causes.

District health officials have also begun work at the Ala Hazrat House in Arthala, which is to be converted into an isolation ward in the event cases rise. The facility will have 500 beds.