Mumbai: Fake N95 masks flood markets as COVID-19 cases spike

Updated: 01 October, 2020 08:47 IST | mid-day online correspondent | Mumbai

These masks are even used by frontline workers and they are at greater risk as the masks are not made as per standard specifications.

Representational Image
Representational Image

Even as the cases of COVID-19 continue to spike in Mumbai, many still don’t have knowledge of the health guidelines and the specifications of required health accessories.

The N95 mask is a very specific sort of accessory created as per the N95 standard set by the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NOSH). This standard tests masks on the basis of their oil and particle filtering ability. Only those face masks that are in line with these standards can be certified as the N95 mask.

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However, the prices of N95 masks have been spiking for quite some time now with one mask being sold for anything around Rs 150-200. This has led to the rise in fake mask manufacture with the logos of top N95 mask manufacturing companies.

According to Mumbai Mirror, Delhi police have seized fake N95 masks and filed FIRs under the Copyrights Act and Indian Penal Code (IPC). Companies that manufacture N95 masks have filed cases against fake mask manufacturers in Maharashtra and Karnataka in July and August.

“There have been many reports of fake N95 masks flooding the market. Since our company has a recognisable brand, they use our logos. In the Delhi case, even our packaging and dyes were found. We have filed four FIR and complaints in the last two months. These masks are being sold as real N95 masks and the level of duplicity is very serious,” said Mahesh Kudav, the owner of Venus, one of biggest N95 mask manufacturing company.

“The fake N95 masks are a big risk since they give a false sense of security. These masks are even used by frontline workers and they are at greater risk as the masks are not made as per standard specifications. Now we have started seminars for small mask manufacturers so they can improve quality,” Kudav said.

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First Published: 01 October, 2020 07:20 IST

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