Sanitisers are a Rs 300-350- crore industry in India and in the past month the demand has jumped ten times, claimed industry sources. Manufacturers are registered with state FDAs and there is no centralised database for the same. Prices of masks (especially N95) and santisers as well as gloves have shot up significantly.
Masks, for example, are selling for Rs 40-50 apiece, up from Rs 10 a piece. Similarly, for N95 masks, which are considered to be more effective against viruses, the prices have shot up from Rs 150 per unit to Rs 500 or so.
The health ministry
has placed orders for eight million masks and other protective gear for health care workers.
Sensing this supply-demand disruption, the government last week invoked the Essential Commodities Act, 1955, to declare these items as essential commodities till June 30.