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March 28, 2020

Covid-19 outbreak: People urge govt to take tangible steps or else situation could turn ugly


March 28, 2020

PESHAWAR: The consumers in provincial capital have asked the rulers to take practical and sustainable steps to combat coronavirus instead of making cosmetic decisions in haste, which could further aggravate the situation.

The people belonging to various walks of life observed that the situation could become more dangerous if proper steps were not taken to tackle the challenged posed by the novel coronavirus.

“The markets and businesses are closed, but it is unclear as for how long this situation would continue,” asked an elderly labourer, who daily comes to Peshawar city in the hope of finding some work, but o no avail. “There is no business. We are very poor. We have children and have to work but...,” he said leaving his sentence incomplete as words failed him. Flanked by another aging labourer, he said they were worried about two-time meal and did not care for facemask or sanitizer.

The residents of Nauthia, Gulbahar, Rashid Garhi, Wadpaga, Dauranpur, Sardar Garhi and Charsadda Road observed that the shortage of

facemasks and sanitizers had exposed the tall claims of the rulers as well as those trying to earn money by exploiting the situation.

They complained that the profiteers had nothing to do with humanity and morality.

They said the price of facemask was increased from Rs10 and these were being sold at different rates in various parts of the province.

The price of sanitizers was increased from Rs250 and now it was being sold for Rs500. A shopkeeper said the price of facemask and sanitizers varied in various parts of the province.

A main dealer said that 70 percent increase was registered in the price of facemasks and sanitizers, saying the 250 milliliter sanitizer was being sold for Rs500.

It was unbelievable to note that the demand and use of different brands of soap had increased manifold, but the prices remained the same almost everywhere.

Wakeel, 50, observed that the people have realized that the use of soap was equally useful and it was easily available so that was why the people of his area had placed bars of soaps in mosques.

The consumers remarked that low quality sanitizers were being sold as these were made by mixing soap and Dettol.

Though it could be useful and some experts have also termed it useful but it was the responsibility of the government to ensure supply of facemasks and sanitizers in the market at affordable rates.

The elders said that though the government has closed the markets, it ignored the fact that they could not continue placing the ban for long.

“What will happen when the existing stuff with the shopkeepers end?,” asked an elder. They said the main dealers could not continue doing business in the existing situation when they were being punished for loading and unloading goods from the vehicles.

An elder from Nauthia locality said he had come to the market to buy some necessary items but the most of the shops were closed.

He noticed many of the shopkeepers had displayed their cell number on their shops. “I called a shopkeeper. He came and gave me the required items,” he said, adding that the shopkeepers had closed down the shops, but they could not afford to keep their businesses shut for a long time.