Coronavirus: Cases filed against stockists found involved in illegal profiteering of protective equipment

Coronavirus: Cases filed against stockists found involved in illegal profiteering of protective equipment Coronavirus: Cases filed against stockists found involved in illegal profiteering of protective equipment

The authorities in Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar registered five cases against the elements found involved in illegal profiteering of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) against Coronavirus and seized their stocks, The News reported Friday.

Acting on the direction of the PM’s Special Assistant on Health Dr. Zafar Mirza, as well as on complaints lodged by the general public, the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) has initiated market surveillance to prevent sale of overpriced PPE, the health regulatory body said in statement.

Pakistan has stepped up efforts to contain the epidemic from transmitting into Pakistan through strict screening mechanism being placed at all the airports. The concerned authorities are also keeping a check on the prices of the equipment through various means.

DRAP had published a public notice in various newspaper on February 15, 2020 prohibiting the overpricing of protective equipment.

The public was encouraged to file complaints against elements involved in the sale of face-masks, googles, face shields, Tyvek suits, gloves etc., on higher prices than those of December 2019.

Subsequently, the Federal Inspectors of Drugs were directed to visit various medical stores, distributors and pharmacy stores to survey the prices of PPE such as N95 masks, surgical masks, face shields, googles and other equipment used for protection against Coronavirus.

Raids were subsequently conducted to seize the equipment.

Meanwhile, Dr Zafar chaired the daily Coronavirus meeting to take stock of preparedness measures at various levels. Secretary Health Dr Allah Bakhsh Malik, Executive Director of the National Institute of Health, and a representative of the Pakistan army also attended.

Addressing the meeting, Dr Zafar Mirza said there is no case of Novel Coronavirus in Pakistan thus far.

“The screening of incoming passengers is continuing at all Ports of Entry, where high level of vigilance is being maintained. On February 18, as many as 14,879 passengers were screened by fully trained health officers at ports of entry,” he said.

All passengers arriving from China are being followed up by teams of NIH doctors. The country is prepared to address any eventuality as per WHO guidelines and international health regulations.

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