(Business in Cameroon) - In Cameroon, actors of the textile sectors have started manufacturing face masks with African prints due to the scarcity that caused the price of masks to soar.
This is, for instance, the case of an industrial group called "Sycar" which announced that, on April 2, it launched the production of 5,000 masks daily.
"They are made of pure cotton with triple protection guaranteeing 6 hours of protection," the company indicates.
Even tailors are now offering face masks made from the African prints, which can be washed and reused, at XAF1,000.
Since April 3, the Port Authority of Douala (PAD) has been recommending the use of cloth masks. "Given the scarcity and prohibitive long-term costs of single-use industrial masks-which have already been acquired and distributed in the Autonomous Port of Douala- it is strongly recommended to staff and their families not to neglect the possibility of using cloth masks produced by our craftsmen and dressmakers. These have the advantage of being reusable after disinfection," Cyrus Ngo'o, the PAD Managing Director, prescribed in a statement dated April 3, 2020.
After having declared that masks should be reserved for caregivers, the sick and people in contact with contaminated persons, the Minister of Public Health Manaouda Malachie, now advises the population to wear this protective equipment as part of the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
"At this stage, everyone must protect themselves and others by covering their mouth and nose when leaving their home, especially if they have to take public transport or go to the market. Otherwise, the recommended option is to stay at home as much as possible," he indicated in a message posted on his Twitter account on March 31.
For the time being, the price of single-use industrial masks is surging in Cameroonian markets. From XAF500 per unit a few weeks ago, it is now over XAF1,500 in pharmacies and the recommended usage time is 3 hours.