As Pakistan is experiencing one of the worst outbreaks of dengue in recent years, the sale of mosquito sprays and repellent has reportedly gone down drastically.

Market research company AC Nielson claims that pest control products are currently limited to only 15,000 stores in urban Pakistan as compared to 80,000 a few months back.

According to recent figures, dengue has infected more than 34,000 people across the country and 50 deaths have been reported.

When asked why not enough retailers are keeping sprays and repellents, retailers say they are not able to obtain the products because "the supply has been halted".

Anwar, a retailer who owns a shop in Karachi's Mehmoodabad area, says: "Supply of sprays and repellents has been halted, although we don't know for what reason."

On the other hand, wholesalers are putting the blame on retailers.

"How can we ensure the same level of supply when demand has decreased," says Hashim Ahmed of the Wholesalers Association.

Meanwhile, market insiders allege that the CNIC tussle has led to the cut in supply of mosquito repellents and sprays as wholesalers are not placing orders for more than PKR50,000 to manufacturers.

The CNIC condition is currently a bone of contention between FBR and traders with the latter observing a two day strike against the revenue body on the issue.

When asked how the void from the market can be filled and if the government can take some measures to address the issue, Sindh Director Dengue Control Sindh Dr Mehmood Iqbal says: "Due to budgetary constraints, the government can't provide sprays and repellents to households. It can be recommended for a particular area where there is a risk of a dengue outbreak getting out of control. But we need funds."

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