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November 25, 2020

Unaffordable

Newspost

 
November 25, 2020

The cost of face masks was quite high during the early days of the Covid-19 outbreak. I remember refusing to buy simple surgical masks for Rs30 each and one N95 mask for Rs700. However, I know people who bought these masks at such exorbitant prices. I don’t know where the state’s price control machinery was in those days. The prices have come down quite a lot, but they are still quite high. I think the last N95 that I bought was priced above Rs200. A few days back, I met someone who showed me pulse oximetre that he had bought for personal use. The device cost less than Rs2000. The same device is available in markets for more than Rs4000. A few days back, shops sold the device for Rs6000.

Also, he had managed to import N95 masks each of which cost him Rs16. These same masks are being sold over Rs200. Does the government know that profiteers are selling these essential items at such high prices? Shouldn’t there be proper checks and balances to ensure that all items are available at affordable prices? School-going children would need masks to go to their schools. If these masks continue to be sold at such high prices, parents will be unable to afford them. The relevant authorities need to look into this matter as it cannot go on for too long.

Irfan U Khattak

Abbottabad