Controversial, the protective masks subsidized by the Covid-19 Special Fund will soon be sold in pharmacies. This is what emerged from the meeting held last Monday between Moulay Hafid Elalamy and Hamza Guedira, respectively the Minister of Industry, Trade, Green and Digital Economy (MICEVN) and the President of the National Council of the Order of Pharmacists (CNOP).
The first set a deadline of 48 hours to start the operation of selling subsidized masks in pharmacies, everywhere in Morocco. Note that the daily production of these protective screens yesterday, April 14, exceeded 5 million units, but still remains below national demand.
However, MHE, insisting on barrier measures and confinement, affirms that “the production units of the masks are going up in pace”. “We salute the commitment and responsibility of the pharmaceutical sector in supporting citizens during this period of crisis,” he said after his meeting with CNOP officials. And to specify that “the pharmacies did not have masks of MAD 0.8”. As a reminder, several clashes had been reported here and there concerning what has become a “rare commodity”, the mask.
To remedy this, community pharmacies have expressed their wish to be associated with distribution. “We want to receive them as quickly as possible to better serve our customers,” said Jalal Bastoun, president of the Union of pharmacies in Marrakech. The latter “does not hide his fears about the quality of masks that should be offered in pharmacies … especially after the videos that have gone viral”.
“I hope that producers will increase the quantities produced every day but also improve their quality,” he says. And to add: “I am still perplexed as to the entry into force of the obligation to wear protective masks, while these remain untraceable”. The same goes for Hassan Ataiche, president of the Union Chamber of pharmacies of Fez, for whom “the sector is in turmoil because of the unavailability of masks”.
“As of today, no pharmacy in Fez has yet received the famous sesame,” he said at noon yesterday. In the meantime, his union has launched a major disinfection operation in the city’s pharmacies in partnership with the distributor Sophasais. “The operation will continue until the end of this pandemic,” he said.