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'Coronavirus Over?' Masks and Sanitizers Have Been Removed from 'Essential Commodities'

Image credits: PTI/Twitter.

Image credits: PTI/Twitter.

Masks and hand sanitizers were listed as essential commodities under the Essential Commodity Act on on March 14.

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.

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.