Maharashtra with more than 128 cases currently is the most Covid-19 impacted state in the country. The state however has received around 25 lakh masks from the Mumbai crime branch. These are those masks that the police seized from hoarders. The masks will be up for distribution among the people.
The masks are distributed at a time when the state is facing shortage of masks and facing criticism. Some days back a few doctors have also written to the Chief Minister regarding the mask shortage.
"The seized 25 lakh masks including 3.69 lakh N95 masks have been handed over to Praveen Pardeshi, Municipal Commissioner of Mumbai and the Haffkine Institute. The civic body will distribute the masks to their doctors and to their staff within the city while the Haffkine institute will distribute the masks in rest of Maharashtra," said a crime branch officer.
On Tuesday the crime branch unit 9 raided six godowns near the International Airport and in Bhivandi area and seized almost 25 lakh mask worth Rs 14 crore, out of them 3.23 lakh masks are N95 masks recommended by the experts as a preventive measure.
During the raid four people have been arrested under the sections of Essential Commodities Act and the Epidemic Diseases act, " These acts empowers the police to quickly distribute the essential commodities seized for hoarding," said a crime branch officer.
DCP crime branch Akbar Pathan and senior PI crime branch unit 9 Mahesh Desai were present while giving masks to BMC commissioner Praveen Pardeshi.