Since the wearing of masks in public spaces is now compulsory, the market is flooded by all sorts of masks produced by local small and medium enterprises, clothing industries, fashion designers, hospital facilities, etc.
“We have started the production of 1,000 masks to protect our staff, patients and health care workers,” confirms Professor Arthur Essomba, Director General of the Yaoundé University Hospital Center.
“Since April 13, the populations of Yaoundé have been wearing all types of masks, even those that, at first glance, do not protect them,” a designer said. The latter admits, however, that the virus is not waiting for experts to approve the masks. Their prices, regardless of quality, range from CFA200 to CFA1,500.
“We have masks made of fabric, I've bought some. I think we can use these masks to cover our nose and mouth until the approved masks are available everywhere,” advises the Minister of Public Health (Minsanté), Malachie Manaouda.
These locally manufactured masks, which do not meet any standards, are on the rise. Dr. Erik Tandi, head of the health promotion division at Minsanté, said only masks produced by approved companies that comply with the standard should be worn.
This is the standard NC 2970 for barrier masks, which defines minimum requirements for test methods, manufacture and use: mass production and hand-made masks. Its application, as well as that of 13 other standards, was made mandatory by the Minister of Mines, Industry and Technological Development on April 13.