Price of surgical masks skyrocketed in Karachi after two cases of coronavirus were confirmed in the country and the panic amongst civilians increased.

A medical store owner confirmed that a box of ordinary surgical masks which would have ordinarily cost somewhere between Rs300 to 400 is now being sold for more than Rs2,000.

Store owners also say prices of N-95 masks used to protect from coronavirus, despite becoming more expensive is also no longer available in the market.

Despite a ban by the government of Pakistan on the export of masks, nearly 10,000 N-95 masks and more than 3,600 ordinary regular masks were exported to China. Six companies were given special permission to export masks to China, leading to a shortage in the country.

Health officials have blamed the hoarders for the shortage.

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