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Coronavirus: Rahul Gandhi blames center for not having enough masks while N95 masks go ‘missing’ in Congress ruled Rajasthan

About 3 lakh N-95 masks were procured by Sawai Man Singh Hospital a few days back but the doctors and nurses their claim that they did not receive the masks and other medical equipment

Wayanad MP and senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi today questioned the central government over its decision to export surgical masks amidst the outbreak.

Rahul Gandhi’s tweet questioning government on masks

Alert netizens soon pointed out that while India is indeed getting into tighter grip of the pandemic, the N95 masks which people could wear as protective gear were banned from export as early as 31st January. In fact, even in the amended notification issued in February, 2020, the N95 masks were banned from export.

In fact, the DGFT has now even prohibited the export of surgical masks from 19th March onward.

Amidst the ongoing coronavirus crisis in the country, as many as 2.5 lakh N-95 masks worth Rs 11 crores have reportedly gone missing from the Sawai Man Singh Hospital in Jaipur, Rajasthan, says a report in Dainik Bhaskar. The hospital had procured close to 3 lakh masks in the last few days but the demand for the masks remains unabated, sending the authorities into a quandary. Both, the hospital administration and the medical college administration are unaware where the masks have gone. A committee has been formed to investigate the disappearance of the masks.

The Medical College Principal Dr Sudhir Bhandari said that information was solicited from the doctors regarding this matter. He claimed that in the wake of the novel coronavirus outbreak in India, the hospital had procured masks for doctors, nursing staff, and other workers who would be involved in the treatment of patients having coronavirus. Close to 3 lakh masks were procured in the last few days but Bhandari claimed that many of the doctors and health care professionals are yet to receive them. Information is being sought from all the doctors to ascertain when and how many number of masks were taken by them. The masks that have gone missing are of N-95 quality and which are deemed high effective against contagious diseases and are quite expensive. The current price of the masks in retail markets is Rs 450 per mask, which takes the worth of unaccounted 2.5 lakh masks to Rs 11 crores.

Astonishingly, the doctors and residents for whom the masks were procured have not received the masks. Resident interns are procuring the masks at their personal level. The hospital administration, on the other hand, kept claiming that there is no shortage of masks and medical equipment necessary to treat the coronavirus patients. It is also alleged that the resident interns, doctors and other healthcare workers of the 4F ward of the hospital were not provided with top quality masks and other equipment even after patients who tested positive for covid-19 were admitted in the ward.

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