According to NNA, the Minister of Economy and Trade Raoul Neama referred 38 adjustment reports of commercial establishments monopolizing hygiene kits in Lebanon to the judiciary for violating the laws and regulations relative to the economy and trade sector.
The reports were made especially in terms of unjustifiable increase of prices for masks, and sterilization and hygiene kits amid a coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, and, thereby, an increase in demand.
The establishments were also fined for increasing the prices of food and consumer goods, not adhering to the official price of fuel, and not adhering to the official price of electric generator services.
In the first weeks of the coronavirus (COVID-19) appearance in Lebanon, pharmaceutical establishments raised the prices of face mask, hand gels, gloves, wet wipes, alcohol solutions, and disinfectants two times more than the price fixed for profit gain.
On Saturday, March 14th, the minister of the economy and trade Raoul Neama met with suppliers, supermarket owners, and consumer shops, and asked them to increase their working hours temporarily in accordance with Lebanese people’s needs.
MP Neama insisted on supermarkets and suppliers to take precautions and caution, enabling citizens to purchase their needs while mitigating mass gatherings in order to limit the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
He also reassured the public that food and consumable items are in abundance and will not be cut off from the market, so there is no need to rush to hoard or buy goods more than needed.
The minister also stressed on the necessity of showing national and social responsibility, which means not to exploit or monopolize the exceptional circumstances and raise prices unjustifiably.
NNA has confirmed that the Council of Ministers is scheduled to hold an emergency session at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 15the, at Baabda Presidential Palace, to follow-up on the latest developments and procedures to limit the coronavirus (COVID-19) spread.
A meeting held by the Supreme Defense Council will also take place at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday.