By Sam Bridge
Dubai Economy urges consumers to file complaints if they find price hikes on face masks following first case of the coronavirus in the UAE
Dubai Economic Department, known as Dubai Economy, has urged consumers to file complaints if they find price hikes on face masks following the announcement of the first case of the coronavirus in the UAE.
In a series of tweets, the government department said it has already resolved one complaint by demanding a pharmacy in the emirate supplies masks at their original price.
It called on consumers to make complaints while also instructing pharmacies and medical supply businesses not to increase prices of masks.
The call comes as Dubai pharmacies say they have seen “unprecedented” demand for face masks, with outlets attempting to source more stock to meet demand.
The Ministry of Health and Community Protection on Wednesday said members of a family arriving from the Chinese city of Wuhan had been diagnosed with the coronavirus.
It added that UAE health authorities have taken "all the necessary precautions in accordance with the scientific recommendations, conditions and standards approved by the World Health Organisation" and it “is not a cause for concern".
However, pharmacies in Dubai have reported a surge in demand for face masks.
In a statement to Arabian Business, Jobilal Vavachan, CEO of Aster Pharmacy and Aster Clinics, which operates 111 clinics and 238 pharmacies in nine countries, said there has been “unprecedented demand for the N95 masks which are clinically proven to be able to support the reduction of virus spread”.
It was reported on Thursday that online shopping stores have started promoting the sale of masks at exorbitant prices. An N-95 protective mask, which costs at a pharmacy between AED150-180 (for a box of 20), is being sold online ranging from AED150 to AED599 (per piece).