BEIJING: A drugstore in the Chinese capital will be fined 3 million yuan (US$434,530) for hiking the price of masks by almost six times the online rate amid a spreading virus outbreak, the Beijing municipal market regulator said on Wednesday (Jan 29).

The coronavirus outbreak, which started in the central city of Wuhan late last year, has killed 132 people, with nearly 6,000 infected in China.

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MORE: Our coverage on the Wuhan virus and its developments

READ: Number infected by Wuhan virus rises to nearly 6,000 in China; death toll at 132

An administrative penalty notice has been issued to the Beijing Jimin Kangtai Pharmacy for sharply raising the price of N95 masks, the regulator said in a statement on its website.

The store raised the price of a box of 3M brand masks to 850 yuan while the online price was just 143 yuan, state television said.

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Since Thursday, the regulator has investigated 31 price violation cases, it said, as it boosted supervision of prices of protective gear and punished illegal activities, such as hoarding or fabricating information about price hikes.Read More – Source

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