On Saturday in Hyderabad, around 16 medical shops across the entire city, along with the outskirts, were shut. Those shops were shut as they were overcharging their customers for selling masks. The drug control authorities ensured this after their raid for second day. A total of 166 medical shops throughout the entire state was closely inspected by the authorities. The increment in the prices came because of the expanding order for N-95 masks. The demand had increased after the news of an infected software professional. He was 24 years old, and the test results revealed that he was indeed infected by COVID-19.
The authorities previously had asked the owners of the medical shops to sell N-95 masks at MRP. However, it was quite a heartbreaking issue that the shop owners were selling the masks at double charge. Since the masks were not under the division of vaccines or drugs, the authorities, in a multi-department meeting, quickly decided that those shops must be sealed to control the increment in prices.
On the other hand, the medical shops, to defend themselves, said that the increment in the prices was because of the escalated cost of mask production to fight COVID-19. They also said that the manufacturers and distributors were the main culprits. It is because they wanted to get a decent profit with this practice. The health officials said that the expenses of manufacturing the masks have become doubled as the supply of raw ingredients from China has been cut off. The rush to get those masks to fight COVID-19 had influenced a lot of shopkeepers to sell the masks at an escalated price.
Across the entire city of Hyderabad, there is now a great shortage of N-95 masks. However, the government hospitals have ensured that to treat COVID-19 cases, they have enough N-58 masks in their stock. A senior drug control official said that there is sufficient stock for their patients and no deficit of N-58 APIs.