Coronavirus: Mask prices go up, stocks dwindle

Coronavirus: Mask prices go up, stocks dwindle

A girl wears a mask while riding a scooty in Ludhiana on Friday. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 21

Owing to the fear of spread of coronavirus, the demand for masks in the city has increased, which has led to a hike in its prices. Since masks are also being exported, there is also a scarcity of masks.

A disposable N-95 mask is the best to use. It covers the nose and the mouth and helps in protecting the wearer from breathing hazardous substances and small particles in the air.

Dr Harpreet Singh, medicine specialist

The wholesalers claim the stock of the masks was over and there was an acute shortage of disposable masks. The price of one disposable mask earlier was Re 1, which has now increased to Rs 20. Masks are not available in the hospital shops as well.

The N-95 mask, which was earlier available for Rs 20, is now being sold for Rs 50 in the wholesale market while a box of disposable masks, was earlier sold at Rs 120, is now being sold at Rs 300.

GS Chawla, president, Ludhiana Chemist Association, said people were buying masks as a precautionary measure, but since most masks were being exported, there was scarcity in the market owing to which the prices had hiked.

“A disposable N-95 mask is the best to use. It covers the nose and the mouth and helps in protecting the wearer from breathing hazardous substances and small particles in the air,” said medicine specialist Dr Harpreet Singh.

He added that although face masks did not give foolproof protection from coronavirus, but it helped people, especially those who were travelling. “Face masks reduce an infected person’s ability to spread the virus and the N-95 masks help in providing protection to healthy individuals,” he said.

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