Six months into the coronavirus pandemic, face masks and hand sanitizers have become commonplace.
Washing your hands for 20 seconds to the tune of happy birthday, not seeing people's faces outside of their face-covers is now normalcy.
India had listed face masks and hand sanitizers as 'essential commodities' on March 14 when there was a crisis owing to people panic-buying and supply running out. However, those items have now been removed from the Essential Commodity Act, according to Times of India report.
The Essential Commodities Act allowed the government to fix price and cap on stock of essential consumer items, The earlier notification was up until June 30, and the consumer affairs ministry has not extended the applicability of the law to these two items.
Officials told TOI that this has been done considering there is surplus supply of these items and the government has also allowed their exports.
Indians, however, were not convinced that this was reason enough for the items to be taken off the Essential Commodities, fearing that now prices would rise drastically, and hoarders would be able to buy out the entire supply and those in need will be left without them.
What? Most essential in pandemic isn't essential, so, people can play with hoarding? @RKRadhakrishn @dhanyarajendran @sumanthraman @navikakumar @MoHFW_INDIA @sriramulubjp @rsprasad @lawminindia Do we know where we are going? — Makkal Nīthi maiyam (@MakalNithiMaiam) July 7, 2020
@kuku27 No reason, they will remain essential for years and affordability is must — vijay banga (@lekh27) July 7, 2020
Corona go on Corona gone — Ajay Kumar (@AjayKum57583507) July 7, 2020
Here's how far the govt will go to permit profiteering by N95 manufacturers. It has removed masks & sanitizers as an essential commodity, while claiming shortages! @nppa_india do jawab nahi! #MeraBharatMahan pic.twitter.com/fbPUDhChB7 — Sucheta Dalal (@suchetadalal) July 6, 2020
Hoarding and black marketeering would become criminal offences. Regulations regarding price control can't be imposed. — Purva Agarwala (ppurva) (@TheSphinxSpeaks) July 7, 2020
So which category Face masks and Hand sanitizerS belong to ? Let me guess, Fashion and Cosmetic product respectively. What comedy is goin on ... — Vinod Tripathi (@spectoons) July 7, 2020
India's death toll from the coronavirus pandemic surpassed 20,000 on June 7, and case numbers have surged as the the country has pushed ahead with relaxations to its almost two-month lockdown amid grim economic forecasts. The rate of both new virus infections and deaths are rising at the fastest pace in three months.