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Purell hand sanitizers sold on Amazon.com are priced at for US$400 (RM1,668). -AFP/File pic
Purell hand sanitizers sold on Amazon.com are priced at for US$400 (RM1,668). -AFP/File pic

WASHINGTON: Amazon.com Inc should stop third-party sellers from price gouging for items like Purell hand sanitizer as people seek to protect themselves from the Covid-19 coronavirus, US Senator Edward Markey said in a letter to the online retailer on Wednesday.

A box of small Purell bottles that usually sells for US$10 (RM41.70) was listed online for US$400 (RM1,668), he said.

One third-party seller listed a bottle for US$600 on Wednesday afternoon. However, the Amazon brand of hand sanitizer was listed for US$8.25 for a large bottle.

Amazon was not immediately available for comment, but last week, it barred more than 1 million products that inaccurately claimed to cure or defend against the coronavirus.

The virus, which first erupted in China, has sickened more than 94,000 people globally and killed 3,220. The disease was recently detected in the United States and has killed 11 people in the country.

“As the world confronts the prospect of a serious and far-reaching pandemic, corporate America has a responsibility to prevent profiteering on the sales of items such as hand-sanitizer and surgical masks,” Markey wrote in his letter.

Markey asked the online retailer to respond to his questions about its anti-gouging efforts by March 18. - Reuters

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