Mar 13, 2020 News Comments Off on Pharmacies, stores inflate prices for anti-bacterial products in face of Coronavirus
By: Anastacya Peters
Several pharmacies and general stores in the city have inflated the prices on anti-bacterial products due to the fear of Coronavirus.
Since Guyana recorded its first case of the deadly Coronavirus, a large number of citizens were driven into panic mode and are taking all necessary precautions to protect themselves and their family members.
Last night, about 20:00 hrs, supermarkets, gas stations and some pharmacies were packed with customers who wanted to get their hands on anti-bacterial products and vitamin C tablets.
While some businesses see it fair to inflate the prices of these products, a large number of customers are complaining about the ridiculous increase, since it is causing a strain on their financial status in their bid to stay healthy.
The most requested items that customers are flocking the stores to purchase are Lysol, Clorox wipes, rubbing alcohol, Dettol products, facemask, hand sanitizer and toilet paper.
Before Guyana confirmed its first Coronavirus case, a 19 oz can of Lysol was sold for $1200. However, after doctors confirmed that the victim died as a result of the Coronavirus, the price has been drastically increased to $6000.
Prices of all kinds and types of anti-bacterial products are being sold with inflated prices.
This sudden surge in prices for anti-bacterial products has caught the attention of the Competition and Consumer Affairs Commission (CCAC), which in turn issued a statement stating that the department has received credible information of price gouging on items, which have been recommended for use to assist in the prevention of the spread of the coronavirus/COVID 19.
The CCAC further stated that while the Commission has no legal standing to regulate market prices, we wish to use moral suasion in our appeal to suppliers to revert to the common prices for the items they are now gouging on.
The CCAC highlights that it is morally wrong to take advantage of consumers during any national emergency, in this case, that of a possible public health crisis.
The CCAC is also appealing with suppliers to put your countrymen/people over excessive profit.
World Health Organization (WHO) recommends washing your hands regularly, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth and keeping surroundings clean by using disinfecting products.
Yesterday morning, Kaieteur News visited several pharmacies and general stores in the city and the prices for anti-bacterial products were at an alarmingly high rate.
Shoppers were greeted with signs that stated “No anti-bacterial products until further notice.”
In the vicinity of the Stabroek Market, vendors, bus operators and commuters were seen wearing facemasks in order to protect themselves from contacting the deadly virus.
When interviewed, several pharmacists and general store owners stated that the rush for anti-bacterial products began Wednesday night around 18:30hrs and up to press time, yesterday, was still ongoing.
A vendor selling citrus fruits in the vicinity of Stabroek Municipal market stated, “Is over five years now since I selling in this market and this is the first time, I get some much sale in less than an hour.
“Wednesday night, I came out with two big bags of limes and oranges and before I could have realised what was happening all my citrus was sold out.”
Last Wednesday, Guyana confirmed its first case of the deadly Coronavirus after the remains of a woman who returned from Queens, New York tested positive for the virus. The woman died at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) Wednesday around 08:30hrs.
After the death of the woman, several employees at the city hospital have been quarantined and the hospital sanitised.
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