Barrister Moudud Ahmed urges court to direct government to distribute masks for free
The High Court on Monday directed the government to mobilize mobile courts to prevent the price hike of masks, hand wash, and sanitizers.
The order came as the prices of these items shot up abnormally, a day after authorities confirmed the first three coronavirus cases in Bangladesh.
The bench of Justice FRM Nazmul Ahasan and Justice KM Kamrul Kader on Monday also came up with several directives, after receiving a government report about its preparation to prevent coronavirus outbreak in the country.
The court said it was unfortunate that people were forced to spend Tk80 to Tk100 for a single mask, which was very cheap until now.
The court warned the businesses against taking advantage of the situation and making huge profit, like many did during the onion price crisis. If needed, mobile courts may start monitoring the situation to stop anyone from raising the prices of masks or stocking them.
Supreme Court lawyer Barrister Modud Ahemd, who was present in the courtroom for another case, also urged the High Court to direct the government to distribute masks for free.
The court also asked the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) to hold their daily press briefing more carefully, so that people do not panic more.
The court then fixed April 5 for passing further order in this regard.
The IEDCR on Sunday confirmed that three people, two of whom recently returned from Italy, were found infected with Covid-19 in Dhaka. Two of the patients are men and the other a woman. All of them are currently in quarantine and receiving necessary treatment.
Until Monday, the global death toll from the coronavirus outbreak, which started in China’s Wuhan city at the end of December last year, was more than 3,800 and the number of cases was over 111,700 in 109 countries and territories, including Bangladesh.
Meanwhile, the Directorate General of Drug Administration on Monday issued a public notice setting the retail prices of hand sanitizers manufactured by seven companies.
It said anyone selling the products above the mentioned prices will face legal action.
Opsonin Pharma’s Kevirub will be sold at the lowest price of Tk31.22 and Greenland Pharmaceuticals’ Handscrub the highest, Tk250. The prices of hand sanitizers from the other companies vary in between these two.