Crackdown against mask hoarders underway: Nasir Shah

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Staff Reporter
Sindh Minister for Information, Local Government and Forests on Monday said that people hoarding coronavirus prevention masks should be taken to task. The minister said that the government has initiated a crackdown against those hoarding surgical and/or N-95 masks and will be punished under law as the activity will hence be deemed illegal given the coronavirus pandemic. Shah also said that people with symptoms of coronavirus like cough, fever and flu should wear masks and practice social distancing. Shah also emphasised the practice of regularly washing hands as a method of prevention against the fast-spreading coronavirus. Yesterday, Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry took to Twitter rubbishing claims saying that the government has ‘smuggled’ 200 million masks to China. Replying to a Twitterati, the federal minister said that those levying blame have no sense and are just spreading fake and baseless rumours about the government. The prices of masks surged in the city after Pakistan has confirmed surge in coronavirus epidemic. According to reports, masks have either disappeared from medical stores in the city or are being sold at exorbitant prices across the metropolis. A medical store owner has said, a box of ordinary surgical masks which would have ordinarily cost somewhere between Rs300 to 400 is now being sold for more than Rs2,000. Despite a ban on the export of masks, nearly 10,000 N-95 masks and more than 3,600 ordinary regular masks were exported to China. Six companies were given special permission to export masks to China, leading to a shortage in the country.

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