LAHORE: Lahore district administration on Saturday conducted targeted operations against mask hoarders and recovered 45,000 surgical masks.
Assistant Commissioner of Cantt, Marzia Saleem along police carried out a targeted raid in the vicinity of the Paragon area and recovered around 45,000 surgical masks.
The officials stated that the masks were being sold at higher prices amid its shortage after a rising number of Coronavirus cases in Pakistan.
The prices of personal protective equipment, including face masks, have increased exponentially across the country following 28 confirmed coronavirus cases in Pakistan.
The stock of shielding types of equipment as surgical masks, common masks, N95 dust mask, gloves, goggles, eye protection, clothing, safety footwear and respiratory protective equipment disappeared from the local market after confirmation of 28 coronavirus cases in the country.
The N95 mask used to protect from coronavirus is not available at medical stores, as well as, wholesaler markets. In some areas, the N-95 mask is being sold from Rs400 to Rs500 instead of its previous rate of Rs60.
The price of the surgical mask packet is increased from Rs1700 to Rs2100 while the common mask is being sold at Rs50 instead of the original price Rs10.
The profiteers have increased the prices of surgical masks, N95 masks, common mask and other personal protective equipment due to poor check and balance systems.
On February 29, Pakistan Rangers Sindh had conducted a targeted raid in Karachi’s Shahrah-e-Faisal and arrested two suspects involved in the hoarding of 74,000 surgical masks.
Rangers’ spokesman said on an intelligence report, the paramilitary force conducted a raid at PECHS area and apprehended an owner of a car showroom who was involved in the illegal practice amid the fear of coronavirus in public.
It further said the rangers on the hint of accused Mohammad Usman sized 74,000 surgical masks and 200 infusion water drips from a house in Gulshan-e-Iqbal 13-D.
The accused had purchased a large quantity of the masks in partnership with a car showroom owner Muzammil, the spokesman added. He further informed the accused was selling the masks at the OLX at an inflated price.
On the other hand, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had initiated a probe into the allegation of smuggling surgical masks to abroad against State Minister of Health Dr. Zafar Mirza.
Young Pharmacist Association filed an application with the Federal Investigation Agency blaming the allegation against Dr Mirza, hold responsible for taking policy decisions on health issues in the country.