In the wake of coronavirus outbreak, the Centre on Friday declared face masks and hand sanitizers as essential commodities for the next 100 days.

The Centre, moreover, has stepped up the efforts to boost the supply and prevent hoarding of these items in its fight to check the spread of COVID-19.

The central government has also invoked the Disaster Management Act, ensuring price regulation and availability of surgical and protective masks, hand sanitizer and
gloves.

The Centre further stated that both masks and hand sanitisers have been brought under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955.

“This will empower the states to regulate production, distribution and prices of these items. This will also help in the crackdown on hoarding and black marketing,” the Consumer Affairs Ministry said in a statement.

“Masks and hand sanitizers are either not available in the market or are short in supply and are priced too high in view of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak of COVID-19,” the statement added.

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