Hyderabad: Panic-buying of hand sanitisers in the wake of coronavirus has led to supermarkets resorting to new strategies to market their wares. Cashing in on the crisis, some supermarkets in Hyderabad are telling customers to purchase stuff worth Rs 500 to buy a bottle of hand sanitiser.

Among the supermarkets, which have come up with such loathsome strategies, despite the gloomy days, is Ghanshyam supermarket in Bowenpally.

Keerthi Reddy, a customer had gone on March 10 to buy a hand sanitiser, only to be asked by the salesperson to purchase goods worth Rs 500, in order to get the sanitiser.

“Even as medical shops and pharmacies are running out of stock, supermarkets like Ghanshyam have managed to make a business out of it. I just wanted to buy a hand sanitiser but I had to make a purchase of Rs 500, in order to buy a sanitizer costing Rs 70,” said the customer.

Meanwhile, in retail supermarkets like Reliance Fresh and Ratnadeep, there are no hand sanitisers. When this correspondent visited their outlets in Banjara Hills, it was also found that alcohol-based-hand-sanitisers were replaced by normal hand-wash products. Pocket hand sanitisers are also not available in most medical shops. Sanitisers, which can be carried by people on-the-go, have become a convenient option for those who travel. The supply is not proportionate to the demand, though

Speaking to NewsMeter, Mohammed Zubair, a pharmacist at Reliance Medicals in Asifnagar, said “People also buy masks but most don’t realise that these are use-and-throw masks. So they go for hand sanitisers. Now, we have only big bottles left, while pocket sanitisers are out of shelves completely.”

Meanwhile, masks and hand sanitisers have been classified as “essential commodities” till June 30 by the Union Government.

Amritha Mohan

Amritha Mohan is a reporter at the NewsMeter. Shortly after completing her Master's in Communication at the University of Hyderabad, she began teaching courses on media and culture as a guest lecturer at the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU), Shillong. Amritha has previously interned with news organisations such as Greater Kashmir and Newslaundry. A lover of travel and photography, she spends most of her time planning road trips to the North-East. Nothing makes her happier than a green turf and a team to play football with. She primarily reports on education, tech, human-interesting and critical features.

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