Mandatory N95 masks starts this Monday in Ceará; sectors complain of scarcity

The obligation to N95 (or PFF2) type masks for essential service workers in Ceará goes into effect this Monday, 24th. Employees who deal with the public in establishments such as pharmacies, supermarkets and schools need to comply with the measure. Those focused on the administrative part are, for now, exempted from the mandatory model, but must continue to wear face protection against Covid-19 infection.

After the announcement of the new measure by the governor of Ceará, Camilo Santana (PT), the establishments had periods of one week for adaptation, between the 17th and 23rd of this month. N95 and PFF2 type masks are considered by experts to be the safest in preventing infection with Covid-19 and other respiratory viruses.

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In supermarkets, workers will receive the masks from their employers. Antônio Sales, executive secretary of the Cearense Association of Supermarkets (Acesu), explains that the commercial networks are coming together to make joint purchases and obtain a better price with suppliers.

“This is another additional cost since the beginning of the pandemic, as masks are more expensive than those currently used”, he points out. He points out that protective equipment is priced higher and in scarcity in the local market, due to demand.

In the municipal schools of Fortaleza, 380 thousand units of masks will be acquired, which will be distributed throughout the school year. The Secretary of Education of Ceará (Seduc) reported that it is adopting measures for the process of acquiring items for education professionals. The perspective is that the school year starts on January 31, in person.

Antônio Félix, president of the State Pharmaceutical Products Retail Trade Union (Sincofarma/CE), says he hopes there will be a tolerance in the inspection of the measure due to the lack of the product on the market. He guarantees, however, that companies are committed to adapting to the requirement.

“There’s no way to rigidly guarantee that from tomorrow all essential segments will be with the N95, because they don’t have the product, that’s going to be a problem”, he ponders. He says that a union between industry and commerce is necessary for the measure to be fulfilled.

THE PEOPLE contacted the State Government about the alleged shortage of the product, but the administration declined to comment.

(Collaborated by Marcela Tosi)

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