Regional News

Govt to crackdown on illegal hoarding of masks

KARACHl: According to Sindh government official, efforts have recently started to control the trade of masks amid growing public complaints of hoarding by vendors and stockists. Following the positive test reports of coronavirus in two patients in the country, the prices of masks skyrocketed.

An official informed that amid the mask-buying frenzy by public, the government took control of a consignment of 80,000 masks to distribute them among hospitals, where the key product was unavailable.

The Sindh drug inspectors earlier raided the wholesale market of medicine in the city, popularly known as Kachi Gali, where they failed to spot any profiteer or hoarding facility and returned empty handed.

The officials then moved to Port Qasim, where a consignment of N95 category mask was waiting to be cleared by authorities.

“We have taken that consignment into custody, which carried total 80,000 N95 masks,” said chief drug inspector Shoaib Ansari. “One should be clear that there is no illegality in the import of that consignment and the company brought these masks by following all defined rules and regulations.”

However, the Sindh government has decided to control the trade of protective masks amid recent shortages following reports of coronavirus to make the masks available to hospitals. The official told that the importer would be paid the price of all the masks and no penalty or fine would be imposed on the firm.

“The drug control authorities were just helping the government and the Sindh health department to make these masks available at hospitals,” officials said.

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah recently said that the provincial government would acquire all equipment and masks related to coronavirus and would pay ‘fair price’ for all these items to the vendors so that a fake shortage was not created in the market and profiteers did not take unfair advantage of the situation.

-MN Report

February 29, 2020

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