Coronavirus, Govt Allows Face Mask Exports

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Laila Afifa

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Trade Minister Agus Suparmanto says the government does not prohibit the export of medical face masks abroad as long as the Coronavirus is still endemic, yet, he hopes exporters can fulfill domestic needs.

    "The government expects exporters to prioritize the mask fulfillment in the country at this time," the minister said at the Borobudur Hotel, Jakarta, Wednesday, March 4, 2020.

    Previously, Agus also appealed to producers not to increase mask selling price after the outbreak of the Coronavirus in Indonesia. "This appeal is also addressed to distributors and retailers," he said, adding that it also applies to hand washing liquid products or hand sanitizers. 

    President Joko Widodo or Jokowi on Monday announced the first Coronavirus case in Indonesia. The Covid-19 patients from Depok, West Java, are currently being treated at the Infectious Disease Hospital (RSPI) Sulianti Saroso, North Jakarta.

    Along with this announcement, the price of medical face masks on the market increased significantly. In Glodok Market, Jakarta, the price of the Nexcare-brand mask is Rp850,000 per box of 50-piece, while the Sensi brand costs Rp450,000, and Accurate Rp400,000.

    However, state pharmacy firm Kimia Farma limits the purchase of face masks to only 2 pieces per day for one person.

    Meanwhile, State-owned Enterprises Minister Erick says that Kimia Farma will further bring out their stocks to meet the public needs. He acknowledged that some of the raw materials for the face mask originated from China, so if the supply is hindered due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the raw material will be imported from Europe.

    Eko Wahyudi l Larissa Huda | Fajar Pebrianto | Galuh Kurnia Ramadhani (Intern Translator)