Shortage in face masks causes crisis

By Indika Sri Aravinda

Pharmacies located in hospitals are currently facing a crisis due to a shortage in the stock of disposable face masks required in Sri Lanka.

The Managing Director of the State Pharmaceutical Corporation (SPC) Lalith Jayakody said disposable face masks and raw material for the manufacturing of masks were imported from china.

However, due to the outbreak of the coronavirus in China, the manufacturing of raw material was halted, he said.

A shortage of disposable face masks is reported in China as well, as the main factories manufacturing raw materials are located in the Hubei Province in China, where the outbreak of the virus was first reported.

The Managing Director of the State Pharmaceutical Corporation pointed out that as a result, Sri Lanka too was unable to supply masks to meet the demand in the country.

Suppliers of disposable face masks in Sri Lanka have halted the issuing of supplies due to this reason, he said.

Despite a small number of manufacturers operating their factories in Sri Lanka, they were unable to meet the demand.

Therefore the State Pharmaceutical Corporation was forced to sell face masks at a higher price or import from other foreign nations.

A key supplier of disposable face masks to Sri Lanka was reported to be selling the stock at a higher price to China.

Sri Lanka is currently unable to obtain stocks of disposable face masks as a result of its demand rising due to the spread of the coronavirus across the globe.

Lalitha Jayakody added that in the past face masks were imported from India and due to a halt in supplies from a key manufacturer in India there was a severe shortage of disposable face masks in Sri Lanka. (Colombo Gazette)