Ahmed Al-Muslimi, a member of the Board of Directors of the Medical Supplies Division of the Cairo Chamber of Commerce, revealed that the demand for purchasing masks during the current period has decreased by more than 70%, despite the start of the fourth wave of the spread of the Corona virus and the drop in prices.
Read also an economic conference to deepen the medical supplies industry and attract investments next Thursday
He added that the prices of masks that conform to the specifications decreased from 300 pounds per package at the beginning of the first wave of Corona, to range between 50 and 60 pounds during the current period, affected by the decrease in the prices of imported raw materials from abroad from 3 million pounds per ton to ranges between 70 and 100 thousand pounds during the same period. Noting that the fair price of the mask is one pound.
Al-Muslimi explained, in statements to “Fourals.com” that the masks of the Bir Al Salam factories are sold by street vendors and sidewalk dealers at a price of 15 pounds, which confirms that these factories use inferior materials that do not conform to specifications, as the real price of these materials exceeds the cost of the Bir Al Salam masks. He pointed out that the masks that conform to the specifications represent 30% of the total local market for masks.
Al-Musalmi explained, that the masks do not conform to the specifications, as well as those imported from abroad are not suitable for medical uses and therefore do not prevent infection with the virus, as the filter layer in these masks does not exceed 55% instead of the approved percentage of 95%, while local factories use a filter layer 99 %.
He stressed the need for the Ministries of Health and Supply to launch campaigns on the markets for selling medical masks to ensure the safety of the offered masks and their compliance with the specifications.
He warned against the continued laxity in wearing medical masks in light of the fourth wave of the Corona virus, explaining that the low demand for masks is an indication that most citizens do not adhere to precautionary measures as a result of their reduced awareness of the risks of the epidemic, which raises fears of its increasing spread during the coming period.
Al-Muslimi stressed that the market for medical supplies to combat the Corona virus is in a state of saturation as a result of the increased supply of all products, pointing out that the Egyptian medical supplies industry has witnessed an increasing growth during the recent period.
He called on citizens to ensure the quality of the masks by reviewing the factory data and to identify the extent of its commitment to applying the standard specifications.
The number of factories that produce medical supplies in Egypt has reached more than 340, and the number of factories that produce masks has reached more than 15 factories, an increase of 20 production lines since the beginning of the Corona crisis, according to the head of the Medical Supplies Division.