The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority(NPPA) on Friday asked states and Union Territories (UTs) to ensure that masks and sanitisers are not sold above their maximum retail price.
"The state drug controllers (SDCs) and food and drugs administrators (FDAs) of all the states and union territories have been requested to have a close vigilance in the market to check the sale of masks and sanitizers at the rates higher than the MRP," the drug pricing authority said in a tweet.
NPPA had earlier written to chief secretaries of states, principal secretaries (health) and state drug controllers, urging them to closely monitor the production and availability of APIs and formulations to prevent black marketing and hoarding in their states or UTs.
NPPA Chairman Shubhra Singh on Thursday met representatives of pharmaceutical industry associations on the issue of availability of critical active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs).
"It is assured that sufficient stock of critical APIs and formulations is available to meet the requirements of the situation arising out of COVID-19," NPPA had said in a tweet.
NPPA is an independent regulator for pricing of drugs and to ensure availability and accessibility of medicines at affordable prices.
Meanwhile, the number of novel coronavirus cases on Friday rose to 81, which include 16 Italians and one Canadian, Health Ministry officials said.
Addressing reporters, Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal said coronavirus is not a health emergency and that there is no need to panic.
He said seven more coronavirus patients have been cured and they will be discharged soon, while 71 are "clinically stable".
He said so far, India has evacuated 1,031 people, including from Maldives, US, Madagascar and China.
"An exercise will be undertaken on Saturday to bring back Indian passengers stranded in Iran. Air India will also send a flight to Milan on Saturday to bring back stranded Indians. It will land on Sunday morning at Delhi airport," said Ministry of Civil Aviation Joint Secretary Rubina Ali.
A total of 4,000 people who came in contact with 81 positive cases are under vigorous observation across the country, Agarwal said.
Meanwhile, 124 evacuees from Japan, 112 evacuees from China are being discharged from Friday onwards after testing negative for COVID-19, Agarwal said.
With the World Health Organisation declaring coronavirus a pandemic, Agarwal said 42,000 people across the country are under community surveillance.
The coronavirus outbreak has led to over 5,000 deaths globally.
The government on Wednesday suspended all visas, barring a few categories like diplomatic and employment, in an attempt to prevent the spread of coronavirus.