GUWAHATI STAFF REPORTER:
Masks & Sanitisers Sale Down in Assam: With the COVID-19 positivity rate showing a declining trend in Assam, sanitizers & masks are no longer selling like hot cakes; and the demand for these two items is not even half of what it was about four months ago.
Even though some doctors are justifying the fall in the sale of masks arguing that the people have started using reusable masks, experts have linked the sharp decline in the sales to people's "COVID complacency".
"The fall in the sales of sanitizer in Assam — one of the most essential tools against the virus — is a clear indication that COVID complacency is setting in. This is a dangerous trend. We must not forget that the pandemic is not yet over. Adhering to Covid protocols and safety norms is a must to prevent any health eventuality," said a doctor at Gauhati Medical College & Hospital.
A pharmacist at GMCH premises said that the trend of buying surgical or N-95 masks is waning. He added that the people have started buying reusable, washable masks for daily uses.
"We have stopped procuring surgical masks. We are now selling cotton masks. Till November 2020, we used to sell 200 masks (minimum) daily. Now the number has gone below 50. Similar is the case with sanitizer and disinfected sprays," pointed out the pharmacist.
Online retailers have echoed similar observations and trends.
"The reason for the dip in the sales of sanitizer and masks is almost clear. There is a general feeling that COVID is over and the people are lowering their guard," said another doctor at GMCH.
A restaurant owner in the city said he has been receiving many customers without wearing masks. An employee of a private bank said even though her office has installed automated hand sanitizing machines, few customers are seen using the same. Moreover, majority of the people are visiting market places, shopping malls without wearing masks.