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Government should control prices of masks

Filed on February 4, 2020 | Last updated on February 4, 2020 at 08.14 pm

Pharmacies are taking advantage of the current situation. Many are claiming that they have run out of stocks of masks when all they are trying to do is control the price and offer only N95 mask (Coronavirus: DED warns pharmacies against hiking prices of face masks; KT, Jan 30).

We are not in China where there is a genuine need to wear N95 every day. I understand people can wear it at airports or events that attract large gathering of people, but for people who travel by metro or public transport every day, or the ones who want to wear masks as a general precaution while stepping out of the house and going to malls, parks or other public places, a simple mask is good enough.

N95 masks have been selling at double the price nowadays. For a lot of people, half the salary would be spent on masks if they are to use one a day. N95 now costs Dh20, it was Dh10 earlier. A box of 100 normal surgical masks was earlier available for Dh18, and now a box of 50 pieces is being sold for Dh70. Government should probably control the prices of these masks for the larger good.

Doaa Kassem, KT website

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