Minister: Belarusians will have enough masks, disinfectants

13 Апреля’20

Households will have enough of face masks and disinfectants, Belarusian Healthcare Minister Vladimir Karanik said at a briefing on 11 April, BelTA has learned.

During the 2009 swine flu pandemic, Belarusian pharmacies sold 750,000 masks from November to February. Over the first ten days of February 2020 about 2 million masks were sold. Vladimir Karanik admitted that the demand exceeds the supply, however the issue will be resolved within this week. To this end, the Healthcare Ministry will team up with companies affiliated with the Bellegprom light industry concern and other stakeholders. “We have a clear understanding of how to address the pressure on stocks; households will be provided with masks in full,” the minister said.

The demand for disinfectants has increased, too. In order to tackle this issue, another two hydrolysis factories were allowed to make this product; the formulation of alcohol-based disinfectants has been approved. Big containers will be distributed among healthcare facilities. “Talks are underway with cosmetics companies. We would like them to start bottling available disinfectants in 50ml and 100ml bottles to be supplied to pharmacies and retail outlets,” Vladimir Karanik added.

Other companies are also ready to start making disinfectants. “I believe we will be able to provide households with enough of disinfectants in the nearest future. They will be in good supply in pharmacies. We redirected the supplies of disinfectants in big containers that households do not need into healthcare facilities,” the minister informed.

In order to address panic buying of paracetamol, some of the product meant for export will be sold domestically. “Do not be surprised to see our paracetamol with a different design on the package. It was just meant for other markets, but we decided to sell it domestically,” Vladimir Karanik said. At the same time, he noted that this medicine does not have any anti-viral properties and it is not clear why people started hoarding it.

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