Amid Coronavirus Spread, Hand Sanitizers Become 16 Times Costlier Online

New Delhi: Some sellers on etailers like Flipkart are quoting 16 times the maximum retail price (MRP) for a 30 ml bottle of hand sanitizer amid the spread of the highly contagious Novel Coronavirus. Health experts have advised people to keep their hands clean as it may help reduce the risk of contracting the virus.

The arrival of the coronavirus in India has led to panic buying, with neighbourhood kirana stores reportedly running out of sanitizers and other liquids to disinfect the hands.

On Flipkart, a seller by the name SuperRetails has listed a Himalaya PureHands 30 ml bottle at Rs 999, several times above the MRP.

Flipkart on its help centre says, “You could see different prices for the same product, as it could be listed by many sellers.”

People on Twitter have complained about the high prices of hand sanitizers at a time when they could be needed the most.

“…Is this fair to sell 30 ml of hand sanitizer at 999 at the need of the hour for ppl?” a Twitter user Chaitra said.

“Companies are actually Working hard to help people by selling a 30 ml Hand Sanitizer for only Rs 999 and mind that that’s with a discount of Re 1. Please do something for those who are selling products over the MRP price,” tweeted Himanshu Kumar, tagging Flipkart.

The Himalaya Drug Company tweeted it “will take action against those who are responsible for this”.

“This is to clarify that we have not increased the rates of our PureHands Hand Sanitizers. The rates of our sanitizers have been illegally increased by unauthorised third-party sellers. We are not associated with these unscrupulous sellers in any way. These are illegal practices and must be dealt with firmly in accordance with law,” Himalaya tweeted.

Five of a family in Kerala have tested positive for coronavirus, taking the total number of infected people in the country to 39 today.

The coronavirus was first detected at a seafood market in China’s Wuhan, from where it spread quickly to other countries.