New Delhi, March 4 (IANS) With five schools downing shutters as a precautionary measure against coronavirus, the demand for masks and sanitisers has seen a significant rise in the Delhi-NCR region. So pronounced has been the impact that in many places, rumours of chemist shops running out of masks and sanitisers are doing the rounds.
The Retailer, Distributors, Chemists Alliance (RDCA), a union of chemists in the NCR though claimed that there is no shortage of masks and sanitisers. RDCA however clarified that demand had spiralled owing to panic around COVID-19, after a person from Delhi tested positive for the deadly virus.
“No there is no shortage, but yes, ever since the news of schools shutting down spread, we have seen huge sales of masks and sanitisers,” Rampat, Vice-President of RDCA, told IANS.
Rampat said that various schools in south Delhi and neighbouring areas have also advised their students to take precautions and carry a sanitiser with them along with masks. Parents also have started to tell their wards to use masks every time they get out of the house.
“Parents have been making a beeline for shops since Tuesday as they want their children to always have a sanitiser with them. Many corporates have also started to reach out to us to supply masks for their employees,” Rampat added.
Meanwhile in some areas like Lajpat Nagar phase-4, some people began spreading rumours that masks and sanitisers were sold out at chemist shops. Many also started to shop online to get their supply for masks and sanitisers.
3 Delhi-NCR schools closed, 2 advance spring break
Three schools in the national capital and adjoining areas have announced holiday for students and staff as a precautionary measure to prevent spread of coronavirus, while two schools advanced their spring break and others sent out advisories to parents.
On Tuesday, a day after the Union Health Ministry reported two fresh cases of coronavirus in the country with one of them in Delhi, two Noida schools sent messages to parents announcing their closure.
One of the two schools, where the infected Delhi man”s son is a student in a primary class, said it will remain shut from March 4 to March 6. A health department team fumigated and sanitised the school campus on Tuesday.
A school in Delhi has announced it will be closed from Thursday while its two branches in Gurgaon have advanced their spring break and will now close from Saturday.
Over 370 who travelled abroad since Jan 15 put on surveillance
As many as 373 people who have travelled abroad since January 15 have been kept under surveillance so far as possible carriers of coronavirus in Gautam Buddh Nagar, officials said on Wednesday.
The instructions to put such people who have travelled abroad had come from the Ministry of Health, Uttar Pradesh in mid January itself, the officials said.
Noida, adjoining Delhi, was caught in panic after samples of six people, including three children, were sent for coronavirus test on Tuesday, four days after they came in contact with a Delhi-based man who has tested positive for COVID 19. All six samples have tested negative, district administration and health officials said on Wednesday.
“Till Tuesday evening, 373 people who have travelled abroad after January 15 have been put on surveillance. Of them, 55 people have been tested for the virus. 49 of them, including the six from yesterday, have tested negative. Results of remaining six are awaited,” Chief Medical Officer Anurag Bhargava told PTI.
“Seventy-four people at present are under surveillance, while five were cross referred, meaning they were not from Gautam Buddh Nagar,” the CMO added.
The Gautam Buddh Nagar Health Department on Tuesday said specialised tests for COVID 19 were available for free of cost at two hospitals, one in Greater Noida and another in Noida.
The Noida administration on Tuesday launched two helplines — 8076623612 and 6396776904 — for people with any queries on coronavirus.