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Food, facemask prices 32pc up in Kabul

Food, facemask prices 32pc up in Kabul

Apr 06, 2020 - 14:57

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok):The prices of essential items have recorded a 32 percent increase and of medical protection equipment and fresh fruits having vitamin C jumped four times because of COVID-19 in Kabul.

Emerging first time almost four month back in Chinese Wuhan city, the virus has so far affected nearly 200 countries.

Coronavirus cases across Afghanistan have risen to 369 with the emergence of 30 new cases in various parts of the country, particularly in western Herat province.

Dr. Wahidullah Mayar, spokesman for the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), told Pajhwok Afghan News the 30 new cases were registered in Herat, Kabul, Nimroz, Kunduz, Faryab and Daikundi provinces.

Markets and shops in Kabul, Herat, Nangarhar, Balkh and in some other big cities have been closed, except shops selling food-items and medical stores.

Essential food items’ prices

Almost 20 days back, the prices of primary food items suddenly shot up after more cases of coronavirus surfaced in the country and some borders of the country were closed.

According to Pajhwok Afghan News reporter from Kabul, shopkeepers in initial days of the virus crisis sold primary food items at inflated rates as a large number of people rushed to markets for buying essential goods.

During those days, the prices of primary food items increased by 20 percent while flour price increased 45 percent, but later the prices were brought down, but still prices of some items are yet to return to normal.

According to Kabul based shopkeepers, a 49-kg flour bag was sold for 1,850 afghanis, a 50 kilograms bag of sugar for 2,700afs, a bag of 24 kilograms of Pakistani rice for 2,500afs, a tin of 16 liter ghee 1,350afs,  one kilogram of Indonesian green tea price for 350afs and the price of 180 eggs 1,350afs.

However, a month back the price of a 49-kg flour bag was 1,450 priced at afghanis, a 50 kilograms bag of sugar at 1,850afs, a bag of 24 kilograms of Pakistani rice at 2,100afs, a tin of 16 liter ghee at 1,200afs, one kilogram of Indonesian green tea at 300afs and the price of 180 eggs 650afs.

The prices of food-items averagely increase by 32 percent.

Some Kabul residents complain in this regard

Shamsul Huda, a resident of 9th police district of Kabul city, told Pajhwok, “Two weeks back, he bought a 49-kg flour bag for 1,900afs and had no more money to buy further items.

He said prices had decreased but still some shopkeepers sold items at inflated rates in the city despite the government’s promise to decrease prices.

He urged the government to provide food assistance to needy and poor families in this difficult time and control price hike in the city as more than 50 percent of citizens lived under the poverty line in the country.

 However, Mohammad Wali, a wholesaler in 12th police district of Kabul city, said: “In overall, shopkeepers of Kabul city bring goods from Kabul Mandavi Market but currently the Mandavi has been closed.”

Omid Babak, spokesman of Afghanistaninfo-icon Chamber of Commerce and Investment, said that the prices of goods increased due to sudden hike in demand and customers and closure of some commercial ports.

He said there was no shortage of flour in market and there was no reason to worry as goods were normally imported through northern borders of the country.

Fruit price

The prices of fresh fruits with vitamin C have increased four times due to people’s demand in this regard as doctors suggest people use fresh fruits with vitamin C as it is useful for COVID-19.

Almost one month back, the price of one kilogram of lemon was 70afs and two kilograms of kino 50 afs but now the price of lemon increased to 380afs and the price of kino reached 150afs.

Zmrai, a resident of Kotasangi area of Kabul city, expressed his deep concern over high prices.

He also urged the government to help the poor and needy people in the city and said announce relief for people.

The Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Investment (ACCI) said efforts were underway to address problems at the earliest possible.

Prices of heath protection equipment

Prices of heath protection equipment also increased four times in Kabul city.

Ghulam Sayyed Rashid, an official at MoPH, told Pajhwok that price of face mask, gloves and sanitizer had increased as the MoPH had no preparation in this regard and as well people’s demand increased in this regard.

He said efforts were underway from the government side to address the issue in near future.

According to his information, a factory making 60,000 face masks on a daily basis is being set up in Herat province.


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