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Outrage in Gulu as Medical Supplies, Market Commodity Prices Soar

A random check by our reporter to Layibi Market in Layibi Division, Cereaeno Market in Pece Division and Gulu Main Market in Laroo Division, as well as a cross-section of pharmacies around the town, shows that prices have now been hiked, as the stock also dwindles.
30 Mar 2020 12:16
Gulu Main Market in Larro Division visibly with very few people entering and coming out - Photo by Dominic Ochola

Audio 3

Prices of medical supplies and essential commodities have skyrocketed in Gulu Town as the country continues to battle the deadly Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, triggering outrage among residents. 

Over the past few days, hundreds of shoppers have been flocking pharmacies, drug shops and markets to stock medicines and essential foods to feed families during a 30-day partial lockdown, which was declared more than a week ago. 

A random check by our reporter to Layibi Market in Layibi Division, Cereaeno Market in Pece Division and Gulu Main Market in Laroo Division, as well as a cross-section of pharmacies around the town, shows that prices have now been hiked, as the stock also dwindles. 

Across different pharmacies, many of whose managers preferred to speak on conditions of anonymity, the price of a 20-liter container of industrial alcohol that was initially sold at 9,000 Shillings has gone up tenfold, and is now sold at 90,000 Shillings, a packet of 50 pairs of sanitary gloves rose from 9000 to 35,000 Shillings while a bottle of hand sanitizer that was initially selling at 5,000 has tripled to 15,000 Shillings. 

The most sought after supply across the town are face-masks whose price has also skyrocketed 50 pieces 75,000 to 250,000 Shillings for a pack of 50 pieces.  

Gillian Josephine Pa’Ochen, the Founder of Northern Tourism Forum told URN that she has been buying beans, salt and sugar across the different markets at elevated prices, even though the president had cautioned traders against hiking prices.   

//Cue in; “The commodity…

Cue out…to afford that.”//  , 

Meanwhile, Joyce Laker, another concerned resident in Gulu town implored the President to live up to his decree and described traders who have hiked prices in the face of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic as thieves robbing the country. 

//Cue in; “Those who are… 

Cue out…will pay tomorrow.”//  

Another disgruntled person is George Ocan who says that the level at which the prices of essential commodities are skyrocketing is alarming. 

//Cue in; “One was just… 

Cue out…free economy.”//  

Now residents are calling on security and concerned authorities in the district to swing into action and implement the President’s directive to save the ordinary people before the situation gets out of control.