Dubai - Coronavirus: DED warns pharmacies against hiking prices of face masks

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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - Residents told to file complaints if prices are increased.

The Department of Economy in (DED) has called on all pharmacies and retail outlets not to increase the price of face masks and nose covers.

The department said it is illegal to hike prices when there is a high demand with people taking extra precaution against the spread of Coronavirus. The department has urged all customers to report cases if they come across cases of hiked prices for face masks.

Meanwhile, pharmacies are reporting a shortage of face masks, particularly the highly-protective N95 masks. "Due to the fast nature that the Coronavirus has become prevalent, there has been an unprecedented demand for the N95 masks which are clinically proven to be able to support the reduction of virus spread," said Jobilal Vavachan, CEO of Aster Primary Care, Aster DM Healthcare.

Also read: UAE schools say not to panic

He added: "Our supply team has been diligently attempting to source and procure new stock with our suppliers who are supporting as quickly as they can with production and shipment of significant quantities. We have, of course, a duty of care to protect our frontline colleagues who look after the health of patients, so a quantity has been ring-fenced for our clinical and paramedical team to assure their safety. Our teams have been issued a procedure for caring for patients whilst also ensuring compliance with guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus."

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Dhanusha Gokulan

Originally from India, Dhanusha Gokulan has been working as a journalist for 10 years. She has a keen interest in writing about issues that plague the common person, and will never turn down a human interest story. She completed her Bachelor in Arts in Journalism, Economics, and English Literature from Mangalore University in 2008. In her spare time, she dabbles with some singing/songwriting, loves travelling, and Audible is her favourite mobile application. Tweet at her @wordjunkie88

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