Coronavirus scare: Unscrupulous elements sell untested chemicals as hand sanitizers

Srinagar, Mar 12: Cashing-in on coronavirus scare, unscrupulous elements are making hay by passing- off untested chemicals as hand sanitizers to gullible people in Kashmir.

This follows the shortage of hand sanitizers and facemasks in the markets.

Panic-stricken people have been thronging chemists to purchase hand sanitizers and facemasks to prevent infection. But most of the chemists have run out of the stock. However, some hoarders are overpricing customers for hand sanitizers and face masks.

“Normally Dettol hand sanitizers are sold not more than Rs 50. Two days before I purchased local hand sanitizers at Rs 80. This time people don’t have any other choice. Shopkeepers are taking undue advantage of the situation,” said Manzoor Ahmad, one of the costumers at Lal Chowk.

What has complicated the problem is that some unscrupulous shopkeepers are passing off untested chemicals as hand sanitizers to dupe the customers

“I was looking for a hand sanitizer in one of the prominent supermarkets at Lal Chowk, but I was shocked to see that they have poured some colored liquid in small disposable bottles without any label. The liquid was not vicious and sold it at Rs 150. I did not purchase the chemicals because I was wary about its quality,” said Ajra Bhat, a college student.

Even some shopkeepers are passing off perfume bottles as sanitizers to customers. “Masks have vanished from the market. What astonished me was that many shopkeepers sell perfume bottles with the label of sanitizers,” said Basharat Ahmad, a customer at Lal Chowk.

Speaking to The Kashmir Monitor, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan said they have constituted squads to check over-pricing in the markets. 

“We have learned that sanitizers and masks are unavailable in the markets. People need not worry we are taking measures to ensure the availability of the stock in the market,” he said.

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