New Delhi: How important is it to wear a mask while heading out? Will it help prevent coronavirus? The answer is, ‘there is no need to panic’. Also Read - Kalkaji Temple in Delhi Makes E-passes Mandatory For Devotees Amid COVID Spike. Read Details

Shopkeepers have surged the prices of N95 and N99 masks as its demand has increased manifold amid fears of the outbreak of the deadly virus. Notably, the number of positive cases in the country has increased to 31 as on Friday. Also Read - India Gets Third COVID Vaccine As DCGI Approves Emergency Use Of Russia's Sputnik V

People claimed surgical masks which usually sell for Rs 10 were being sold for Rs 40 or higher, and N95 masks which sell for around Rs 150 were being sold for up to Rs 500. Not only at shops but e-commerce platforms like Amazon, Flipkart, Big Basket and Grofers have sold out masks and sanitizers in several cities including Delhi NCR where at least three positive cases have been recorded. Also Read - Karnataka: Not In Position to Impose Complete Lockdown in State, Says Health Minister Sudhakar

However, as former US President Obama said in a tweet, wearing masks comes only secondary to basic precautionary measures like following hand-washing guidelines, staying at home if sick and regularly checking for updates on the situation. Experts have stated that while wearing masks may help, it is essential only for those who have already tested positive with for viral infection.

Earlier today, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said that it is absolutely unnecessary to create panic about buying masks to prevent coronavirus. “There is no need to create panic about the need to wear masks. Strict action should be taken against shopkeepers who are charging more than the fixed price for masks,” he said.

A US Surgeon general Jerome M Adams had also urged people to not buy masks. “They are not effective in preventing the general public from catching coronavirus, but if health care providers can’t get them to care for sick patients, it puts them and our communities at risk.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation is already taking care of the global shortage protective gears across the world as people are panic-buying these items.