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Odishatv Bureau

Pune: Amid the coronavirus scare and the increased demand for surgical and N95 masks, a pharmacist from a reputed hospital in Maharashtra's Pune city has been arrested for allegedly stealing masks and other medicines worth over Rs 35,000, police said.

The 28-year-old accused stole masks, injections, tablets and some ointments collectively worth Rs 35,750 on Saturday from the hospital pharmacy where he was working, an official at Koregaon Park police station said on Sunday.

He has been booked under Indian Penal Code sections for theft.

While no confirmed case of novel coronavirus has been reported from Maharashtra so far, the scare over the infection is spreading.

To prevent hoarding of masks which are in great demand, the state food and drugs department earlier urged chemists to not stockpile them.

Authorities have been appealing to people to wear masks only if recommended by doctors, and insisting on maintaining personal hygiene to keep the viral infection at bay.

The number of coronavirus cases rose to 39 in India on Sunday as five more people tested positive in Kerala.


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