LAHORE: Despite non-prevalence of the coronavirus in the country so far, the protective mask for the virus called N95 is becoming non-available in the markets, and the authorities concerned should take notice of the situation.
This was revealed by the health sources, associated with manufacturing and distribution of the medical devices in the province. The actual price of N95 mask is Rs 190 per piece, but it is being sold in the market for up to Rs 900, claimed the sources.
The Drug Regulatory Authority Pakistan (DRAP) had issued a letter to all federal and provincial drug inspectors on Feb 4, 2020, to visit importers and distributors of the protective devices including mask N95, face shields, disposable gloves, disposable gowns, disposable shoe cover, disposable caps, tyvcc suits, biohazards bags, hands sanitisers, air-purifying respirators and powder, etc.
DRAP has also directed the companies and stockists concerned to send details of stock-in-hand to Additional Director, Medical Devices and Medicated Cosmetics, head office.
DRAP has also imposed restrictions on export of all above mentioned protective devices and asked the drug inspectors to ensure implementation on restrictions on their export.
Meanwhile, different drug associations including Pakistan Drugs Lawyers Forum, Pakistan Pharmacists Association and Young Pharmacists Association have welcomed the decision of export of these protective devices from coronavirus and termed it a step in the right direction.
However, it was stressed to allow maximum pharmaceutical companies to prepare these protective devices and ensure their distribution in the market in abundant quantity so that any impending situation could be tackled in a smooth way.