Traders warned against price hikes amid COVID-19 epidemic

25Mar 2020
The Guardian
Traders warned against price hikes amid COVID-19 epidemic

TRADERS in Ruvuma region have been warned against unlawful price hike of essential commodities amid the battle against the spread of COVID-19 infections.

Songea District Commissioner Pololeti Mgema.

Songea District Commissioner Pololeti Mgema said that there were some of dishonest traders in the district who are taking advantage of the situation by increasing the price of goods saying that stern measures will be taken against any trader who will be found doing so.

Addressing traders and transport stakeholders meeting on behalf of the regional commissioner, Mgema said traders found to be hiking prices of the commodities could be subject to action under the country’s laws.

He directed experts to conduct regular inspections in shops and trading centres to find if the directives are well adhered to.

He said the government will continue taking proactive actions by conducting regular monitoring and inspections to ensure that consumers are well served with fair prices.

He also said that traders who engage in substandard goods will face penalties as per the law.

“The government requests the general public to report any unnecessary hike of prices for a quick feedback. Traders involved shall be punished in accordance with commercial laws… we encourage consumers to submit complaints to the government whenever they notice price hike situations on the essential commodities,” he added.

Meanwhile, DC Mgema wanted operators and drivers of public buses to ensure that their vehicles are always clean and passengers are sanitized.

“Essential cleanliness equipment such as hand wash soaps and sanitisers should be stationed in bus stations and inside the vehicles for passengers to wash their hands before entering into the buses,” he said.

For his part, Regional Traffic Police Commander Salumu Morimori said that in order to win the battle against Covid-19, concerted efforts were needed to supervise health experts’ directives.

He directed bodaboda drivers to stop carrying more than one passenger warning that stern measures will be taken to anyone found violating road safety rules and regulations.

According to latest update by the World Health Organisation (WHO), more than 200,000 confirmed cases of the Covid-19 have been reported globally killing more than 10,000 people ---the vast majority in mainland China and Italy.

To prevent the spread of coronavirus, experts advise that there should not be unnecessary overcrowding in markets or shopping centres.

They advise that a distance of one meter among customers and the dealer is ‘a must’. To contain further spread of Covid-19, efforts have been taken by various states which include closure of public and private schools, putting sanitisers in public places, among others.

The general public has been urged to follow specific preventative instructions including washing hands regularly, avoiding large gatherings and reporting any coronavirus signs and symptoms.