Gov't face masks to cost Sh20 - Trade CS Betty Maina

1 million masks already in distribution

Government, locally manufactured face masks to cost Sh20 - Trade CS Betty Maina

Trade Cabinet Secretary Betty Maina on Friday announced that locally manufactured face masks will retail at a maximum of Sh20.

The CS who joined the daily briefing from Afya House announced that one million masks had already been produced by manufacturers working with the government.

In her statement, Health CAS Mercy Mwangangi elaborated that the government-distributed masks will be given to bodaboda riders and matatu operators first.

"We have now started to manufacturing personal protective equipment and masks for healthcare workers and for initial distribution to bodaboda, tuktuk and matatu operators," Dr Mwangangi stated.

Government recommends 3 ply face masks

CS Maina showcased the locally manufactured PPEs and face masks, recommending a 3-ply face mask which includes a filter to avoid infection.

"We have been directed to all wear masks, there's a mask for medical personnel and there's a mask for the general public.

"When you go out to buy, ensure that it has three layers. There's an inner layer and the outer layer is darker for gathering dust but there's a filter inside it, that will also be good for medical personnel. There's a simple dust mask that can be worn by our bodaboda operators and it is made out of wooven cloth but that will not protect you from disease because it doesn't have the inner filter.

"We have capacity in our local industries to make 60 million masks immediately...by today we have at least 1 million masks available and I'm sure they are already in the distribution channels," the CS elaborated.

She added that all the products had been scrutinized by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) and medical experts.

"Given the volume of production, we don't expect any of these masks that are going to be for sale to go for more than Sh20...I'm certain that some of these products could even be sold for as little as five shillings," she stated.

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