Six million masks from India may soon be available in drugstores - Galvez
Some six million face masks from India might soon be available in some pharmacies and drugstores in the country.
In a virtual press briefing on Thursday night, National Task Force Chief Implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. said he talked to the president of Indian Chamber of Commerce.
"The group will procure six million masks to be distributed to Mercury Drugstore and Watson so the public can purchase them at a lower retail price," he said.
People have been complaining over lack of face masks in the market. Many are relying on improvised or do-it-yourself face masks.
The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, the highest government policy-making body handling the COVID-19 crisis, is requiring all individuals in areas under the enhanced community quarantine, to wear face masks when they leave their homes.
Galvez also saidlast March 31, 15,000 sets of personal protective equipment from China arrived in Villamor Air Base in Pasay City.
The sets of PPE were distributed to the Armed Forces of the Philippines Medical Center, East Avenue Medical Center, San Lazaro Hospital, Lung Center of the Philippines, Philippine General Hospital, and Jose Rodriguez Memorial Hospital.
"These are part of the first batch of 1 million PPEs under the government to government procurement agreement between the Philippines and China. The remaining 985,000 PPEs are scheduled to arrive from April 6 to 24," said Galvez, a retired military general and is also the presidential peace adviser.
He said the government is waiting for the donation of 30,000 complete sets of PPE from Solaire.
Of the donation, 15,000 will be distributed to critical COVID-19 hospitals in Metro Manila while 15,000 will be for hospitals in Visayas and Mindanao.
Galvez said business tycoon Ramon Ang also called him up personally and promised to donate P500-million worth of PPE sets and 100 ventilators.
"With the strong partnership between the government and the private sector, we were able to normalize the medical supplies of the Department of Health," he said as he thanked the private sectors and individual citizens for their assistance. Celerina Monte/DMS