A day after recovering over 12,000 fake N95 face masks, the Bengaluru City Police on Wednesday seized fake infrared forehead thermometers. According to the police, the thermometers had no manufacturer name and were purchased at Rs 3,000 per unit. Later, they were sold at whopping Rs 10,000 in the market. The infrared forehead thermometers are used to measure temperature to detect fever in coronavirus suspects. They are placed on the temporal artery of the forehead and measure the infrared heat that comes off of the head.
As the country battles unprecedented coronavirus pandemic, the demand for filtering masks and forehead thermometers have been on the rise since the outbreak of the deadly COVID-19 disease, which has killed more than 42,000 people and infected over 8.5 lakh. However, there are some people trying to make quick money out of the crisis by selling fake face masks and thermometers.
On Tuesday, the Central Crime Branch (CCB) had seized more than 12,000 fake N95 face masks from a warehouse in Bengaluru. The police said that they received information that fake N95 maks were being sold by some people. Following the tip-off, a CCB team raised a warehouse in Kalyan Nagar area on March 30.
During the raid, the police found 12,300 fake N95 maks worth Rs 20 lakh. The masks were made off a simple cloth and the perpetrators had put N95 seal to sell them at a high price. Till March 30, the accused had sold around 70,000 fake masks at a cost of Rs 1.05 crore.
According to the WHO, the prices of personal protective equipment have surged since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak and surgical masks have seen a sixfold increase, N95 respirators have trebled and gowns have doubled.