Some social media posts claim that the facemask pictured was manufactured by public company Cotonnière industrielle du Cameroun (Cicam) as a protection against the coronavirus.
"I heard that this piece of fabric is the facemask produced by Cicam with public funds. This state company announced today that this piece of fabric will cost XAF1,300," a social media post read.
Some users belied the poster’s information. There is even a high-ranking official who wrote this: "Cicam only supplies the immaculate white cloth that is appropriate for producing the masks. It is strongly advised not to use the other fabrics already coloured with chemicals because of the toxicity of the dyes."
After verifications, it appears that Cicam did manufacture the facemasks. Sources within the company confirmed it. "Yes, we manufactured it,” an employee informed. The company also confirmed the information on its Facebook page on May 7, 2020, saying the masks are made with pure cotton, are washable, and available at its Laking and Ecotex points of sale for XAF1300.
"It should be noted that it is washable 15 times. This averages the costs to XAF86 per single-use and it meets all the standards set by the WHO unlike the masks sold at XAF500,” it added.
Cicam recommends changing masks regularly during the day. It also advises citizens to respect all the recommended hygiene measures and avoid touching the masks once they put it on their faces.