At a time when a shortage of face masks, the most commonly used safety gear, is being reported amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, a surgical shop in Kochi sold thousands of masks for just Rs 2 per piece to the most needy.
Cochin Surgicals, located at Pachalam in Kochi, has sold more than 5,000 face masks in just two days.
COVID-19 has infected a total of 19 people in the state, and the Kerala government has beefed up all the safety measures to prevent the spread of disease in the state. With an increasing number of positive cases daily in the country, there is high demand for face masks despite the Health Department explaining that there is no need for the public to use one all the time.
In addition, there have also been reports that medical shops across the state are significantly hiking the prices of the masks.
The surgical shop in Kochi, which sold masks for Rs 2, also focussed on selling the masks to those who needed it most â€” medical teams and hospitals.
The masks were initially bought by Cochin Surgicals for Rs 10 per piece from manufacturers, and were then sold for Rs 2.
Speaking to TNM, the owners of Cochin Surgicals, Thasleem and Nadheem, said that they made a loss by selling the masks at a low price, they were not worried about the effect on their business.
"Kerala is going through a one-of-a-kind situation now. We don't know what's going to happen, maybe tomorrow I might contract the disease. When we heard there was a shortage of masks, especially for hospital staff, we suddenly decided to sell all the stock we had at a low price. And within two days, our stock has been completed. Most was sold to medical teams and hospitals," said Thasleem.
He also hoped that their initiative would inspire others and stop people from unnecessarily hiking prices.