LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday ordered the provincial health department to take steps to control hike in prices of surgical masks, ARY News reported.
Chief Justice Mamoon Rashid Sheikh issued a written interim order over a plea seeking control on rapid hike in rates of surgical masks after detection of novel coronavirus cases in Pakistan.
Punjab government and other concerned departments were made respondents in the petition.
The high court in its interim order sought reports from the federal and Punjab government over shortage of masks and skyrocketing hike in prices.
The court ordered the government to ensure sale of surgical masks on cheaper rates adding, ” It will be highly appreciable if these masks provided to people free of cost.”
The prices of surgical masks increased instantly due to hoarding, the petitioner said and pleaded the court to take stern action against the elements involved in the hoarding of the masks.
After coronavirus cases reported in Pakistan, markets running out of surgical masks and the prices surged by manifold.
A packet of surgical masks was being sold at Rs1000 in the market as the profiteers became active to make quick buck out of the situation.
The first case of COVID-19 emerged in Karachi past week who flew back from Iran along with his family, while the second patient had travelled through Lahore to enter into Islamabad.
The country has reported five cases of novel coronavirus infection so far.