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LHC seeks report on supply of masks, sanitizers from government

LHC seeks report on supply of masks, sanitizers from government

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday ordered the government to submit report on supply of masks and sanitizers.

A bench of the high court headed by Chief Justice Mamoon Rashid Sheikh heard a petition on shortage of sanitizers and masks in market amid soaring cases of novel coronavirus disease in Pakistan.

The court had earlier 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 the country. 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 was informed that 75,000 masks manufactured daily when it asked the government counsel about the quantity of locally manufactured masks. “Mostly masks being imported,” government lawyer told the bench.

A team of officials conducted raid in Rawalpindi and recovered a stock of masks with Chinese citizens involved in hoarding, a government official informed the bench. The value of the recovered masks was around Rs15 million, the official said. The masks recovered should not be kept with police as case property, the court directed.

“These masks will be provided to hospitals for doctors,” official Salman Kazmi said.

The bench also asked about compliance of its order about fixation of the price of masks. “No decision yet taken over it,” the official of Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) said.

The court ordered for monitoring and encouragement of small-scale local manufacturing of surgical masks.

The bench also ordered supply of recovered surgical masks to pharmacies and hospitals under proper monitoring.