Tamil Nadu government, on June 8, declared 15 items as essential amid the COVID-19 pandemic and fixed the maximum retail price for these articles. The 15 essential items include face masks, face shields, hand sanitisers, surgical masks and PPE kits. In a statement, the Health and Family Welfare Department said, “The Director of Drugs Control has informed the government that in order to ensure the availability of essential medical items during the COVID-19 pandemic at reasonable prices to common man, it is necessary to declare certain items as essential under the Tamil Nadu Essential Article Control and Requisitioning Act, 1949 and to fix the maximum price of the same.”
Following this, the Governor of Tamil Nadu, Banwarilal Purohit, fixed the maximum retail price of 200 ml of hand sanitisers at Rs 110, N95 masks at Rs 22, surgical mask-2 ply at Rs 3, surgical mask-3 ply at Rs 4, surgical mask-3 ply with non-woven melt-blown fabric at Rs 4.50 per piece. The maximum price of a set of personal protective equipment (PPE) kit is fixed at Rs 273, while the price of a disposable apron is at Rs 12.
The maximum retail price of a surgical gown is Rs 65, a pair of sterile gloves is Rs 15, a pair of examination gloves is Rs 5.75, a non-rebreather mask is Rs 80, and an oxygen mask is Rs 54, as per the order. The Governor has also declared the price of a flowmeter with a humidifier at Rs 1,520, fingertip pulse oximeter at Rs 1,500 and face shield at Rs 21.
On June 7, Tamil Nadu recorded 19,448 new COVID-19 cases and 351 official deaths. Among the districts, Coimbatore recorded the highest number of coronavirus cases with 2,564 patients testing positive for the virus followed by Erode with 1,646 patients, Chennai with 1,530 patients and Tiruppur with 1,027 patients. A total of 31,360 patients were also discharged following recovery.