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Are we reliving mask shortage in pharmacies?

Are we reliving mask shortage in pharmacies?

Society
03 June 2020, 18:19 85
Experts link the shortage to some psychological factors
 
"Pharmacies in our neighborhood have not had masks for two days." "Yesterday I asked the pharmacist for a mask, he said they had only the expensive ones with filters." "We are a family of 6, and I asked for 12 masks, but they didn't give me any. They said no more than 5 masks are sold per person." These complaints were voiced by citizens over these past few days. For the past few days, people have been complaining about the lack of masks in pharmacies at a time when they are forced to wear them. A while ago, we faced the same situation at the time when the coronavirus was just beginning to spread. In the first months of the pandemic, the sharp increase in demand and the suspension of exports led to a shortage of masks, to the point that "no masks" were written on the doors of pharmacies.
However, this problem was solved in a short time. The equipment and raw materials for the production of medical masks were purchased and imported into the country under Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s order through joint efforts of the relevant state structures. The work on the establishment of the enterprise manufacturing medical masks was completed and begun to operate in Azerbaijan. Modern equipment brought from Turkey for the production of medical masks was installed in a short period. An area in the Sumgayit Chemical Industrial Park was allocated for the enterprise manufacturing medical masks established by Baku Textile Factory. It has the status of a resident of the industrial park. This status allows the enterprise to take advantage of the benefits envisaged for the industrial parks. The manufacturer was provided with a loan on concessional terms in the amount of 1.2 million manat through the Entrepreneurship Development Fund of the Azerbaijani Ministry of Economy. Over 30 jobs have been created at the enterprise. The production process consists of three-shifts by using raw materials that meet international standards ISO 17050-1. As a result, the shortage was prevented at an early stage.
With the recent easing of quarantine rules, there has been a real "softening" in people's attitudes towards the mask, as citizens who previously complained about the lack of masks no longer wear a mask, which has led to a sharp rise in the number of virus infections. For the past week, the number of infected people has exceeded the number of cured patients. Therefore, serious steps have been taken regarding the mandatory use of masks. Azerbaijani Parliament discussed the issue of fines for not wearing masks during the coronavirus pandemic at its plenary session. The corresponding amendment to the Code on Administrative Offenses of the Republic of Azerbaijan was discussed by MPs in the third reading. According to the amendment, fines will be imposed for violation of the requirements established by the relevant executive authority in connection with the use of personal protective equipment during epidemic, sanitary-hygienic, and quarantine regimes. Furthermore, for failure to prevent the violation of these requirements, the fines for physical persons is 50 manat ($29.4), for officials - 100 manat ($58.8), and for legal entities - 200 manat ($117.6). It is not a good thing that the number of masks in pharmacies has decreased during the adoption of such a law. People are rightly dissatisfied. When citizens are told that they will be fined for not wearing a mask, they use the shortage of masks in pharmacies as an excuse. Interestingly, what is the reason for the current shortage of masks in pharmacies? First, we contacted pharmacies on the matter.
Many pharmacies we contacted said they had masks, but that they sold them with a limit. "We receive 300 masks a day. They are sold immediately due to high demand, especially in recent days. We have not been able to meet the growing demand in the past few days. That is, the mask is sold out as soon as it arrives in the morning. We are forced to tell customers who come at noon that there is no mask. Some customers want to buy 10-11 masks. Citizens begin to complain when we tell them we sell masks in a limited number.”
MP Musa Guliyev noted that the shortage is due to some psychological factors. "After the easing of the quarantine regime a while ago, most people did not feel the need to buy a mask. Therefore, pharmacies reduced the need for daily masks. In recent days, as a result of the tightening of some rules regarding wearing masks, people became alarmed and began to buy masks in large numbers. The pharmacies were not ready for that. But I am sure that in the coming days this issue will be resolved and the dissatisfaction of citizens will disappear because the stock and production of masks in our country is quite high. I do not think there will be a problem with this issue in the coming days,” the MP said. 
Adil Geybulla, a medical expert, said there is a way out of this situation. "People sometimes make excuses for this problem. I do not think that there is a serious shortage of masks, as in the beginning. If the pharmacy does not have a mask and the citizen wants to wear a mask, he can make it at home. That is, there is a way out of every problem. It's just that people are lazy and find different excuses. Unfortunately, they are not aware of the seriousness of the issue,” he said.
 
Gunel Azade