Coronavirus: Dubai fines 14 merchants for hiking facemask prices

A member of medical staff wearing a protective face mask and gloves takes a swab from a man during drive-thru coronavirus disease testing in Abu Dhabi, UAE. (File photo: Reuters)

Dubai Economy announced that it has fined 14 merchants for hiking the price of face masks amid the coronavirus pandemic, the department said in a Tweet on Sunday.

The announcement comes after the emirate imposed fines on individuals not wearing a mask in closed spaces. The UAE has since recommended that everyone should wear a mask in public to help combat the spread of the coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19.

“Dubai Economy has imposed fines on 14 merchants including nine pharmacies in Nad Al Hamar, Al Mizhar, Nad Hessa, Sheikh Zayed Road, Hor Al Anz, A Twar, Al Qusais, Umm Suqaim and Al Warqa, for inflating the prices of face masks to exploit the rise in demand for hygiene essentials,” the department said in a tweet.

Five other merchants were also fined, including two supermarkets and suppliers, following consumer complaints, investigation, and verification of the price based on the supply chain.

Repeat offenses would lead to a doubling of the fine and the potential closure of the outlet in question, the ministry added.

Last week, three pharmacies in Dubai were fined for increasing the prices of face masks and sanitizers.

In January, Dubai Economy officially instructed all pharmacies and retail outlets to not increase their prices for face masks as fears over the deadly coronavirus pandemic have caused a surge in demand from consumers, businesses, and healthcare suppliers.

The UAE has reported 1,505 infections of the coronavirus, with 10 fatalities. The country has reported 125 recoveries so far.

Read more:

Coronavirus: Three pharmacies in Dubai fined for increasing prices of face masks

Dubai authorities warn of face mask price gougers amid coronavirus epidemic

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Last Update: 12:04 KSA 15:04 - GMT 12:04
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