• December 2nd, 2020

Sourcing protective masks a challenge


Julia Kamarenga

The Cabinet order that starting Tuesday everyone should wear a face mask when in public is receiving attention but many people are still without these compulsory masks. 

This was visible in the town of Gobabis where people are covered with all sorts of masks, including bandanas. 
Some shops and pharmacies have gone an extra mile in curbing the spread of the virus and they do not allow customers without masks to enter their shops. 

“We have decided not to let clients without masks in the shop and we are doing this for the safety of others,” explained Claudia Williams Januarie, manager of Woermann & Brock Gobabis. 
There is, however, a concern about the affordability and availability of masks.

Queried about the absence of masks, some members of the public said: “As much as we want to put on the masks, we cannot afford to buy them. These that people are making the cost about N$30 and they are not reusable, so how many do I then buy and for how long?” 
“We have to adhere to the call of wearing masks but it’s economically straining, especially for me who is already struggling to make ends meet because now I have to buy at least two masks daily. I plead with the government to provide the public with masks for us to be able to fight this virus effectively,” suggested Benson Iyambo.

Evidently, people want to adhere and wear face masks but the challenge is they cannot afford them and the masks are also not readily available.
Upon arrival at one china shop in town, the shop owner was busy at work, explaining to the people the kind of material he is using to sew masks. 
A long queue of people waiting for masks protruded to the outside, with some people having waited for over an hour to get to the front of the queue.

Fioline Mengo, a local fashion designer, says she is being flooded with calls from institutions to place orders for masks.
“I am trying, by all means, to meet the standard by using the material which is approved by the World Health Organisation,” said Mengo.
Besides the use of masks, the community is being urged and reminded that Namibia, like other countries, is battling this global pandemic; therefore, all other prevention measures such as social distancing, regular washing of hands with soap and running water, sanitizing of hands with alcohol-based sanitizers and staying at home should be practised.


Staff Reporter
2020-05-06 09:17:50 | 6 months ago

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