2019-nCoV | Face mask stocks sufficient, more arriving on February 2

The local health authorities have informed that the current stock of surgical face masks acquired by the government is sufficient for the next 10 days and that a restock will be received from a delivery due on February 2.
This information was disseminated by the Health Bureau (SSM) director during the press conference held yesterday to provide an update on the status of the coronavirus locally and publicize new measures by the government in response to it.
The government has ordered 20 million face masks of which approximately 13 million have arrived in the past few days and been distributed to the population through normal channels.
To help the distribution of masks during the first days of the new Lunar Year, the government also enforced a new measure on January 24, lasting until today, that adds the sales of masks at seven public health care centres in addition to the 56 contracted pharmacies across Macau.
From January 30, face masks will continue to be sold in batches of 10 to all people presenting a valid Macau ID card or a non-resident worker’s card (commonly referred to as a blue card) at pharmacies for the price of 8 patacas.
According to SSM information, it is believed that the arrival of masks can alleviate the registered rise in market demand for masks which resulted in stock rupture and significant price hikes.
The bureau said, “residents do not need to panic or rush to pharmacies for purchasing,” adding also that the quality of the masks being sold at the local pharmacies has been certified to “ensure that the masks available to the public meet the quality assurance standards.”
Questioned by the media about complaints from residents regarding a lack of quality of some of the masks on sale, SSM Director Lei Chin Ion reaffirmed that the bureau can only be responsible for the products acquired by the government in a collaboration between the SSM, the Economic Bureau, and the Consumer Council which are being sold at approved pharmacies and health care centers. The official noted that there are many other products on sale in different establishments for which the SSM cannot guarantee the origin and quality standards.
The SSM also reminds residents to observe respiratory etiquette by avoiding covering the nose and mouth with hands when coughing or sneezing, and to instead use their elbow or upper sleeve if no tissue is available.
Earlier in the week, the health authorities advised all people to use face masks when entering a place with a high concentration of people, especially when using public transportation.
Previously, the health authority said that that the public did not need to wear masks all the time. Rather, wearing a mask was recommended only when visiting medical facilities or institutions, and in circumstances where the mask-wearer has respiratory symptoms or a fever.

Categories Macau