Saudi authorities have seized greater than 5 million medical masks that have been illegally stockpiled amid the coronavirus outbreak, state media reported on Sunday.
The commerce ministry seized 1.17 million masks from a non-public retailer in Hail, northwest of the capital, after authorities Wednesday confiscated greater than 4 million masks saved in a facility within the western metropolis of Jeddah in violation of business laws, the official Saudi Press Agency reported.
The ministry mentioned individuals behind such actions could be prosecuted, and that the confiscated masks could be redistributed to the open market.
Pharmacies within the oil-rich kingdom have reported shortages of masks amid panic shopping for, as authorities warned in opposition to costs hikes.
Saudi Arabia is scrambling to restrict the unfold of the lethal illness at house.
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The kingdom’s well being ministry has reported greater than 1,200 COVID-19 infections and 4 deaths to this point, the very best variety of circumstances within the Gulf area.
It has imposed a nationwide partial curfew, barred entry and exit from Riyadh in addition to Islam’s two holiest cities Mecca and Medina and prohibited motion between all provinces.
King Salman warned final week of a “more difficult” combat forward in opposition to the virus, as the dominion faces the financial double blow of virus-led shutdowns and crashing oil costs.