Amidst the growing concerns of novel Coronavirus, a video of thousands of used coronavirus masks dumped at an isolated spot near Kalher pipeline in Bhiwandi sent ripples of panic wave among the people. Imran Shaikh, a godown staffer, was allegedly seen in the video dumping waste masks.
Already used masks from foreign countries were 1st collected; then aftr washing, they were re-packaging it fr selling in black market.
bt becoz this vdo went viral; they were unsuccessful.
now police arrested “imran shaikh” in the this case.
corona masks ka bhi business?? pic.twitter.com/BGlrFPrjxU
— आलू बोंडा (@ek_aalu_bonda) March 9, 2020
Social Media was abuzz with a video where Shaikh was seen throwing used masks even as the country is grappling from the coronavirus outbreak. After the video went viral, a complaint was filed by revenue officials. It was reported that the plan may have been to wash the masks, repackage them and sell them as new. However, it has not been verified yet. An FIR was lodged at the Narpoli police late on Sunday night against the Bhiwandi godown staffer.
The police have booked Shaikh under Indian Penal Code Section 269 for careless act likely to spread infection of disease, imperilling the lives of others, said senior inspector Maloji Shinde. “A probe is ordered to find out who had bought the masks and if they had been imported from China,” he said.
A police team raided the godown and submitted a report to Thane zonal DCP Rajkumar Shinde, who sent off a letter to the district health administration to look into the matter.
According to Thane collector Rajesh Narvekar, officials from the district health administration, revenue and Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB), along with the police arrived at the site near Kalher pipeline on Sunday morning. The officials of MPCB have impounded the masks and sent them to a lab to verify if any of them had been infected by Covid-19 or any other virus. Following the test results, the MPCB will get rid of the biomedical waste.
The Bhiwandi revenue officer Shashikant Gaikwad asserted that the police has initiated an investigation about the origins from where these masks are imported, adding that the medical report will clarify if they were contaminated or not.
As a precautionary measure, the location was sanitised to avoid any health-related hazards in the locality. However, the revenue officials have cautioned the residents to avoid the area till the lab test report is submitted.