MIRPURKHAS              -             The panic, gripping the city and suburbs following cases of coronavirus reported from some parts of the country, has forced the closure of schools.

On the other hand, taking advantage of surge in demand for surgical masks in the wake of reported cases of coronavirus, a mafia has stocked these masks, resulting in their acute shortage in the local market.

Hundreds of people remained on a lookout for these masks on Friday, considering these an adequate defence against the disease.

Sources say a mask which normally costs Rs5 is now being sold at a price ranging between Rs50 and Rs100.

Apart from that Commissioner Zahid Hussain Memon has directed the health department to set up isolation wards at government hospitals.

Acting on the directives of the commissioner, the health department teams have started checking the passengers who have come from Iran on suspicion of being infected with coronavirus. However, not a single case has tested positive.

District Health Officer (DHO) Mirpurkhas Anwer Khathri has also held meetings with doctors and health department officers to ensure establishment of isolation wards and other necessary measures to save the district from the virus.