Karachi: According to reports, Price of surgical masks surged in Karachi recently after two cases of coronavirus were confirmed in the country. There have also reports of disappearance of masks from medical stores in the city or were being sold at exorbitant prices across the major city.
A medical store owner told Geo News, a box of ordinary surgical masks which would have ordinarily cost somewhere between Rs300 to 400 is now being sold for more than Rs2,000.
Store owners also told that despite N-95 masks becoming more expensive was also no longer available in the market.
Despite a ban by the government of Pakistan on the export of masks, nearly 10,000 N-95 masks and more than 3,600 ordinary regular masks were exported to China. Six companies were given special permission to export masks to China, leading to a shortage in the country.
Health officials, on the other hand, have blamed the shortage on hoarders.
Earlier, Pakistan reported its first two cases of coronavirus, Special Assistant to PM on Health Dr Zafar Mirza confirmed. “I can confirm first two cases of coronavirus in Pakistan. Both cases are being taken care of according to clinical standard protocols & both of them are stable,” Dr Mirza wrote on Twitter.
He also noted that there was “no need to panic [as] things are under control”.