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“Don’t panic buy, situation is under control”

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KABUL: There is no need for panic buying; the situation is under control, President Ashraf Ghani said in a video clip on Tuesday, assuring the Afghan masses of no food shortages due to risk of coronavirus outbreak. The president instructed related organs to control prices of essential items, assuring the government’s committee to deliver its best for the nation in this crucial moment.

This is as concerns among people increased due to risk of coronavirus that it will disrupt daily life in case of its spiraling outbreak across the country, where the masses started panic buying on Monday to stock food items particularly flour, rice and oil.

Prices have jumped as the Kabul residents went to supermarkets and shops to by essential needs that suddenly faced with drastic hike in prices, triggering to bunch of complaints by consumers. 

Kabul police in cooperation with the related organs had immediately taken action following complaints to control the prices, and beside closures, punished the profiteering shopkeepers.

President Ghani in his massage to the nation called upon the people to not believe over rumors, which is proclaiming by hoarders and opportunists.

“In order to normalize the market, I ordered distribution of 24,000 tons of wheat from government strategic stacks to the vulnerable segments of the society,” he added.

The president said that the government decided to let around 1,000 oil wagons, which was stopped due to legal issues in northern border to enter the country. To boost up transit facility, order has been given to the custom office to continue operation 24 hours in big borders across the country, he noted.

Thousands wagons of edibles will also be imported through Shirkhan Bandar, Hayratan and Turghondi to the country, the president added.

“75,000 tons of wheat will be imported through India to the country within 15 days, 50,000 tons of wheat purchased by traders from India.”

To control the panic, which has no economic base, I have ordered to the Ministries of Finance and Foreign Affairs to provide big traders with facilities for emergency purchasing, he mentioned.

At the meantime, the government will work in cooperation with China, India and other countries, which have the experiences of managing of emergency situation, to import medicine to quell the threat of shortages.

The president assured that all state system is operating to keep stable economy and control the prices as well as the trend of providing enough food items.

It is worth mentioning that the total number of the infected coronavirus cases had jumped to 22 in Afghanistan. Thirteen cases of covid-19 recorded in Herat, three in Samangan, two in Logar, one in Badghis, one in Kapis, one in Balkh and one in Daykundi provinces.

All covid-19 infected people were returned from Iran, there is no risk of its spread in the society as yet.

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