Public urged: Don’t buy paper face masks

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio February 07,2020 - 03:06 PM

The City Market Authority and the Department of Trade and Industry personnel confiscate the overpriced paper masks sold at stalls in downtown Cebu City on Thursday, February 6. | CDN Digital file photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Cebu City Health Office is encouraging the public to shun the use of paper masks as a precautionary measure for the 2019-novel coronavirus (2019-nCov). 

Cebu City Health Officer Daisy Villa said that paper masks could not protect anyone from the virus which could spread through droplets of human discharges from coughing or sneezing. 

The paper masks are especially not helpful for the immunocompromised, who are vulnerable to the virus, because these types of masks do not have the proper filter. 

Surgical masks and the N95 masks are the most effective personal protective equipment for the sick and immunocompromised against the 2019-nCov. 

Villa said that surgical masks and the N95 had the filtering mechanism to prevent inahalation of microscopic or dustlike organisms such as the coronavirus.

“Ayaw mo og pailad anang mobaligyag paper face mask nya mahal kaayo. Dili ni siya gamit sa 2019-nCov. (Do not be duped by those who sell paper face masks at a high price. The masks are useless against the 2019-nCov),” said Villa. 

On Thursday, February 6, 2020, the Department of Trade and Industry with the city government inspected 10 pharmacies and 5 stalls selling face masks. 

Read more: Three pharmacies in Cebu City asked to explain for selling overpriced face masks

The DTI confiscated paper face masks sold in the stalls after they found out that the paper masks were sold at P10 to P15 a piece, far from its suggested retail price of P1 to P5 a piece. 

The stalls were warned that if they would be caught again, they would face criminal charges for overpricing. 

Villa said that people should use the right face masks to protect themselves if they were immunocompromise or to protect others in the case of those flu-like symptoms. 

However, she reiterated that healthy individuals of the general public would not need to wear face masks. /dbs

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TAGS: Daisy Villa, face mask, overpriced

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