Police in India’s Jalgaon district of Maharashtra busted a mattress-making factory that was stuffing its products with expired masks instead of cotton or other materials.
The owner of the unit has been charged, and the police have launched an investigation into the matter. The mattress factory’s premises have yielded a plethora of face masks.
The used face masks that were scattered around the premises were set on fire according to the rules.
The police station at Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) in Jalgaon was alerted about the scam, which led to the investigation. Jalgaon is approximately 400 kilometres northeast of Mumbai.
“When officials went to the factory in MIDC’s Kusumba village, they discovered a mattress filled with used masks,” said Additional Superintendent of Police Chandrakant Gawali.
“Amjad Ahmed Mansoori, the factory’s owner, has been charged. The police are now looking into the possibility of other people being involved in the scheme,” SP Gawali said.
India’s face mask production is up dramatically since March of last year, when the country produced 1.5 crore units per day.
The pandemic of Covid-19 has put a strain on India’s already overburdened waste management system. According to data published by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), over 18,000 tonnes of coronavirus-related bio-medical waste, including gloves and face masks, was disposed of between June and September 2020.
India is in the midst of a vicious second wave of the pandemic, with 1.99 lakh new cases of infection recorded only on Wednesday. Maharashtra was responsible for 63,294 cases and 349 deaths.
For the ninth day in a row, India has registered over one lakh new cases. India now accounts for one out of every six infections recorded each day around the world.