Right after the Government capped the price of treatment of COVID-19 in private hospitals, the Kerala Government made an important move by putting a cap on the price of all essential articles used in the treatment of COVID-19.
The decision has been taken as India is battling a deadly second wave, and with the rising number of cases each day, there have been multiple instances of people misusing the scarcity in this pandemic to make profits. The Government of India had directed State Governments last week to ensure that all medical items were available at a fair price to everyone.
The Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan tweeted through his official handle regarding the capping of prices; the Home and Family Welfare Department of his Government also shared the list of all items which have been classified as ‘essential’ and whose prices have been subsidised:
PPE Kits ₹273; N95 Mask ₹22; Triple Layer Mask ₹3.90; Face Shield ₹21; Disposable Apron ₹12; Surgical Gown ₹65; Inspection Gloves ₹5.75; Hand sanitizer ₹192 (500 ml), ₹98 (200 ml), ₹55 (100 ml); Sterile Gloves ₹15 (pair); NRB Mask ₹80; Oxygen Mask ₹54; Flow Meter with Humidifier ₹1520; Pulse Oximeter ₹1500.
The State is currently under a complete 9-day shutdown, with a few major districts under a triple lockdown. The Chief Minister addressed a press conference, where he expressed a hope that the lockdown will bring down the cases.
The moves of the Kerala government have been welcomed by most, as it comes at the height of the second wave. There have been multiple instances of black-marketing and profiteering, which have cost many patients their lives. Complaints about hospitals charging the patients sky-high prices for COVID-19 treatment have come to light.
It is only fair that while our country is grappling with this pandemic at its worst, the State Governments are taking initiatives to control prices.
As per the experts, May is the most crucial month for most states; lockdown measures by state governments have helped bring down the caseload and experts hope that continued lockdown measures will continue to reduce the caseload.
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