What followed the outbreak of Covid-19 was a dramatic increase in the prices of protective goods like masks, sanitisers, oximeters and even blood plasma. Manufacturers and retailers profited off of the pandemic through creating artificial shortages by hoarding and now, with Dengue spreading uncontrollably throughout the country, the same practices are being observed. The government has placed great emphasis on the importance of taking precaution yet, price control mechanisms have not been implemented to safeguard against such exploitation.

According to the public’s complaint, the price of medications needed for treatment of dengue, mosquito sprays, repellents, coils and nets have quadrupled, rendering them unaffordable for the masses. Most areas that have experienced an upsurge in dengue cases have either been affected by floods or have poor sanitation standards against which the public can only do so much. Taking measures individually is important but because of this price hike, many are unable to protect themselves against the disease.

Manufacturers and retailers have been found guilty of hoarding countless supplies that decrease changes of contracting dengue. This artificial shortage then is responsible for increasing prices to a point that is absolutely unacceptable. We are living in a time when floods have wreaked havoc across the country and the unintended consequences of such a climatic disaster is the spread of diseases like dengue. In these trying times, our aims should be to help each other out. It is distasteful to be profiting off of these circumstances and the government must take action accordingly.

Fumigation drives are ongoing, and many cities like Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad have been reporting reduced transmission rates. However, this is not the only solution. Previously, we were able to suppress dengue fever through spreading enough awareness about taking precautionary measures and ensuring that all protective measures were available in the market, and at reasonable rates. Some price control mechanisms must be imposed to revert back to that era because otherwise, we may threaten the lives of countless others.