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Wed 26 Feb 2020 02:20 PM

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Kuwait virus cases soar as pharmacies close over price hikes

Violating pharmacies punished by Ministry of Trade and Industry as number of coronavirus victims rises in Kuwait

Kuwait virus cases soar as pharmacies close over price hikes

The ministry's Commercial Control and Consumer Protection Sector received 205 calls to a special hotline and inspected 187 pharmacies and made 20 seizures.

The Kuwaiti Ministry of Trade and Industry on Wednesday announced the closure of 14 pharmacies for violations related to hiking prices of medical face masks, as the number of coronavirus victims soared in the country.

A total of 19 pharmacies have so far been shut down for raising prices, according to a statement carried by Kuwait News Agency.

The action comes as cases have more than doubled in Kuwait on Wednesday – taking the total number in the country up to 26, according to a website tracking the global outbreak.

The ministry's Commercial Control and Consumer Protection Sector received 205 calls to a special hotline and inspected 187 pharmacies and made 20 seizures.

The closures were executed on instructions from the Minister of Trade and Industry Khaled Al-Roudhan who warned that more pharmacies will be closed if found to be in violation of a decision to set prices for coronavirus-related equipment at agreed levels.

Over the past two days, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman have reported cases of the novel coronavirus among people returning from pilgrimages to Iran, which is battling the deadliest outbreak outside China.

The three countries have large Shiite Muslim populations who frequently travel to Iran to visit holy shrines.

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