Don’t Panic: As Prices of Necessities Rise in Egypt, Here’s How You Can Stop Those Profiteering from the Pandemic
As the number of coronavirus cases surges to 126 in Egypt, people rush to pharmacies and supermarkets in a frenzy of panic buying to get as many hand sanitizers, face masks, and wipes as possible. To make matters worse, a number of business owners decided to profit from the ongoing crisis, raising prices of these now essential healthcare products.
Last Saturday a presidential decree mandated that all schools, universities, youth centers, and clubs bring their activities to a halt. While on social media, Egyptians are urging their fellow countrymen and women to stay at home and #FlattenTheCurve. Yet, to those of us who are still required to go out for work, taking precautions in not as simple as it sounds.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends citizens of the world to wash their hands frequently, wear face masks if they experience the symptoms of the virus, and to maintain social distancing. However, now that a not-so-little number of pharmacies and supermarkets across Cairo do not have stocks of ethylene alcohol, hand sanitizers, face masks, and wipes, panic buying and hoarding medical products is jeopardizing the lives of many.
But for all its negatives, panic buying does not come close to profiteering from the COVID-19 pandemic. Some owners are intentionally raising prices to add extra lining to their pockets, and it is not just immoral, it is illegal as well.
If you happen to come across a vendor who is selling medical products for higher profits, call the Consumer Protection Agency (CPA) at (19588), WhatsApp them at (+2 01281221880), or send them an e-mail at (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The CPA is a government entity in charge of overseeing the market and making sure the merchant is not taking advantage of the consumer. If a pharmacy owner is proven to be raising the prices to gain personal profit, contact the CPA to discourage them and others doing the same.