Lalitpur orders shops selling essentials to display price listCity officials say they came up with the rule after consumers complained that vendors were overcharging citing shortages.
In a bid to control black marketeering during the nationwide lockdown, Lalitpur Metropolitan City has ordered all shops selling essentials to display a list of available items along with their prices.
Since the government announced a nationwide lockdown last week, many shops that sell daily essential items have remained closed, and those that are open have been accused of charging exorbitant prices for their goods.
The city office has ordered all vendors, including retailers, grocery shop owners, fruit and vegetable shops operators to display a list of items available along with their prices, the civic body said in a statement on Tuesday, the eighth day of the nationwide lockdown set to go on until April 7.
Lalitpur Metropolitan City also said that the chairs of all 29 wards will surveil shops in their respective area to ensure that the rule is followed.
“The city made this announcement after we received complaints from residents that many shops are charging extra for goods citing shortages,” said Raju Maharjan, spokesperson for the city. Maharjan said the city announced the rule to prevent black marketeering at a time when citizens are locked inside their homes. “We will take action against anyone found cheating at a time of crisis,” said Maharjan.
According to the Black Marketing and Certain other Social Offenses and Punishment Act 1975, a person found selling goods at a price higher than that of the market, can be fined Rs 25,000 or jailed for five years.
The city also announced that any organisation that wants to distribute relief to the poor, marginalised or working class people, need to take prior permission from the ward office concerned.
Frequently asked questions about the coronavirus outbreak
UPDATED as of May 27, 2020
What is Covid-19?
Covid-19, short for coronavirus disease, is an illness caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, short for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. Common symptoms of the disease include fever, dry cough, fatigue, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In severe cases, the infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.
How contagious is Covid-19?
Covid-19 can spread easily from person to person, especially in enclosed spaces. The virus can travel through the air in respiratory droplets produced when a sick person breathes, talks, coughs or sneezes. As the virus can also survive on plastic and steel surfaces for up to 72 hours and on cardboard for up to 24 hours, any contact with such surfaces can also spread the virus. Symptoms take between two to 14 days to appear, during which time the carrier is believed to be contagious.
Where did the virus come from?
The virus was first identified in Wuhan, China in late December. The coronavirus is a large family of viruses that is responsible for everything from the common cold to Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). After an initial outbreak in Wuhan that spread across Hubei province, eventually infecting over 80,000 and killing more than 3,000, new infection rates in mainland China have dropped. However, the disease has since spread across the world at an alarming rate.
What is the current status of Covid-19?
The World Health Organisation has called the ongoing outbreak a “pandemic” and urged countries across the world to take precautionary measures. Covid-19 had spread to 210 countries and infected more than 5,684,795 people with 352,225 deaths. In South Asia, India has reported the highest number of infections at 150,793 with 4,344 deaths. While Pakistan has reported 57,705 confirmed cases with 1,197 deaths. Nepal has so far reported 772 cases with four deaths.
How dangerous is the disease?
The mortality rate for Covid-19 is estimated to be 3.6 percent, but new studies have put the rate slightly higher at 5.7 percent. Although Covid-19 is not too dangerous to young healthy people, older individuals and those with immune-compromised systems are at greater risk of death. People with chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes and lung disease, or those who’ve recently undergone serious medical procedures, are also at risk.
How do I keep myself safe?
The WHO advises that the most important thing you can do is wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizers with at least 60 percent alcohol content. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unclean hands. Clean and disinfect frequently used surfaces like your computers and phones. Avoid large crowds of people. Seek medical attention if symptoms persist for longer than a few days.
Is it time to panic?
No. The government has imposed a lockdown to limit the spread of the virus. There is no need to begin stockpiling food, cooking gas or hand sanitizers. However, it is always prudent to take sensible precautions like the ones identified above.