Health Minister calls for strict action against black marketeers of masks


File Photo: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan (PTI Photo)

File Photo: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan (PTI Photo)

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Friday sought strict action against those charging inflated prices for face masks.

His comments come in the wake of shortage of masks and sanitizers in the market and chemists charging higher than the normal price as the coronavirus scare rises.

“Strict action should be taken against those black-marketing the masks,” he tweeted in Hindi.

Vardhan held a meeting on Friday to review preparedness for managing coronavirus outbreak and stressed on the importance of states keeping quarantine facilities, isolation wards and testing labs in active readiness.

So far, India has 31 confirmed cases of the infection while nearly 29,000 people have been put under surveillance.

Vardhan held the meeting with health ministers and chief secretaries of all states and Union Territories, Central Ministers and representatives from organisations concerned through video conferencing and underlined the importance of communicating with the masses and raising awareness about steps to prevent the spread of the virus.

He asked the states to mount information education and communication campaign to deal with misconceptions about the ailment.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to hold a meeting on Saturday with health secretaries and the group of ministers, official sources said.