Published:  03:12 AM, 19 March 2020

Dr. Mirza faces probe over mask smuggling

Dr. Mirza faces probe over mask smuggling
The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has launched a probe into the alleged involvement of Dr Zafar Mirza in smuggling of 20 million face masks abroad. According to a notification issued by the agency, FIA's director of Islamabad Zone has been directed to immediately investigate the allegations and submit a report within 15 days and take immediate action.

According to the complainant, 20 million masks were smuggled out of Pakistan allegedly by Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza in collusion with an aide of Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) Deputy Director Ghazanfar Ali Khan, reports Pakistan Today. The complaint was submitted by Young Pharmacists' Association's Secretary General Dr Furqan Ibrahim with the Prime Minister's Complaint Cell.

To mention, Dr Zafar Mirza took part in the SAARC video conference convened by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 15 for a joint strategy  to fight the coronavirus outbreak. Where heads of seven countries participated in the video conference, Pakistan sent PM's special assistant on health which triggered criticism. 

It is important to note that as coronavirus cases emerged in the country, the rise in demand for respiratory masks led to their shortage in the market. There are only a few stores which are selling respiratory masks at the moment and that too at very high prices. N-95 masks, the respiratory masks recommended by health experts are not available in the country.

Meanwhile, citizens are also taking precautionary measures to combat the epidemic, and masks are a very effective tool to prevent the virus. According to medical store owners, only one mask is being sold to one person due to their shortage but the government has said that there is no need to panic and the supply of respiratory masks is under control.

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