* MoCI fixes prices of medical masks
The Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI) has issued a decision setting the maximum retail prices for medical face masks.
A list posted on the MoCI portal gives the types of these items, their description, quantity and the maximum retail price permitted for each of them.
As the consumer demand has recently increased considerably for these protective items due to the global outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19), the MoCI has taken such a decision to regulate the local market and keep prices under control.
The decision clearly bans pharmacies and other sellers from selling the masks at prices more than the announced maximum prices. It stressed that all the concerned executive entities shall enforce it with immediate effect. Inspection campaigns will be intensified by the MoCI to enforce the decision.
The MoCI had issued a number of similar decisions setting the maximum permitted retail prices for fruits and vegetables, the locally produced fish and seafood at the local market, and sanitisers and disinfectants.
Meanwhile, the MoCI has issued a clarification on its circular regarding its order to close the retail shops and bank branches at the commercial complexes and shopping centres. It stressed that the order of closure is only applicable for the shops inside the major shopping malls or centres, and it exempts the shops selling foodstuff and other products such as hypermarkets, supermarkets, nuts and sweets shops and similar outlets, besides cafes and restaurants, which are however permitted to provide takeaway services only. No dining in is allowed.
Pharmacies and medical centers are exempted as well and can operate as usual and continue to offer their services to the public.
Across the country, many residents have stressed that all the necessary products, especially food products including fresh fruits and vegetables of different types, are available in good quantities at all the usual selling points and sold at very reasonable prices.
Even parts of the Industrial Area streets, which have been closed last week to contain any chances of spreading the virus, has been supplied with ample supplies of food items along with other daily necessities. In addition, many charities and volunteers have hurried to distribute food items, including fresh meals to the workers there.