Face mask prices skyrocket in Indonesia as fears over coronavirus mount
UNTV News • February 13, 2020 • 1183
Prices of face masks spiked nearly 10 times in Indonesia triggered by fears over the spread of the deadly coronavirus, as a consumer group head urged the authorities to step in to regulate the growing price.
A seller Bambang Darmadi in Jakarta’s Pramuka market that sells medical equipment told Reuters a box of 50-piece mask is now being sold for around 20 dollars, compared to approximately two dollars before the outbreak. He said the prices increase daily by nearly a dollar.
Over 1,300 people had died from the flu-like virus on Wednesday (February 13) and more than 60,000 people have been infected.
Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populous country, has so far not recorded any cases.
But locals have been hoarding masks on worries that prices will increase should there be an outbreak in the country of 260 million people.
Locals said they could not find new masks in many places and had to wear their old ones over and over.
The price-gouging selling is not due to scarcity but due to hoarding practice in the ‘middle level’ like distributors for the return of higher profit, head of Indonesian Consumer Foundation said.
“Someone has distorted the market. We ask the government to regulate ceiling price for health equipment like masks,” said Tulus Abadi, adding that there is no regulation on price setting.
Authorities around the world sought to calm panic buying of masks seen as a guard against the fast-spreading coronavirus. Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines had arrested nearly a dozen of people for selling overpriced masks, according to local reports. (Reuters)
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in Southern Mindanao recently ordered its station, sub-stations, floating assets, and operational control (OPCON) units to carry out intensified monitoring and regular border patrols in the region to prevent illegal entry of people from Indonesia.
The directive comes after reports of surge in Delta variant cases wreaking havoc in the said Asian country.
Indonesia was recently included by the national government in the list of countries with travel restrictions.
It shares borders with the Philippines in Southern Mindanao and its proximity poses a huge risk of virus importation.
In view of this, PCG Commandant Admiral George Ursabia Jr. directed all Coast Guard districts and units nationwide to step up monitoring of all vessels with crew or passengers who may be carriers of the COVID-19 Delta variant, most especially borders near Indonesia and Malaysia in the Southern part of the Philippines.
Meanwhile, Captain Rejard Marfe, the acting commander of PCG District Southern Mindanao, also ordered all PCG units in the region to ensure that measures are in place, in coordination with local government units and other law enforcement agencies.
MANILA, Philippines – Twelve crew members of a sea vessel that arrived in the country from Indonesia tested positive for COVID-19, the Department of Health (DOH) said Tuesday.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the tugboat, which carried 20 Filipinos, is currently docked at a port in Albay.
Eleven of the patients were kept strictly aboard the boat while one is under watch in Butuan after he disembarked to go home to his family despite orders to stay in the boat.
Vergeire said the patient in Butuan snuck off the ship and road a public transport to reach his residence.
“Iyong kaniyang close contacts, kasama ang driver ng public transport at isa pong helper at lahat ng kaniyang kapamilya ay nai-quarantine na po ng local government natin,” she said.
The remaining crew members of the ship tested negative for coronavirus, she added.
Vergeire said the DOH has collected five samples from the 11 COVID-19 positive cases aboard the vessel. These samples will be sent to the Philippine Genome Center for sequencing to determine if they are infected with a coronavirus variant.
The Philippines has so far confirmed 35 Delta variant cases, with three fatalities. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Aiko Miguel)
Pinayuhan ng Embahada ng Pilipinas sa Indonesia ang mga Pilipino roon na ipagpaliban muna ang kanilang biyahe kung nagbabalak silang umuwi sa Pilipinas dahil sa umiiral na travel restrictions.
Ayon kay Charge D’ Affaires ng Philippine Embassy sa Indonesia na si Consul General Bryan Dexter Lao, hanggang sa katapusan ng Hulyo epektibo ang travel restrictions ng Pilipinas para sa bansang Indonesia bunsod ng mga kaso roon ng mas nakakahawang Delta variant ng COVID-19.
“Ang kailangan nilang gawin sa ngayon ay kausapin ang kanilang travel agent o airline para makapag-rebook sila ng flights,” ani Lao.
“Hindi pa natin masabi kung ano ang mangyayari sa mga susunod na panahon kung makakabiyahe ba sila agad dahil hihintayin pa natin ang magiging kautusan ng pamahalaan tungkol sa pansamantalang travel ban,” dagdag pa niya.
Maliban sa Indonesia, may ipinaiiral ding travel ban ang Pilipinas para sa mga bansang India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates, at Oman hanggang sa Hulyo 31.
Batay sa ulat ng Embahada ng Pilipinas, aabot sa 15 Pilipino sa Indonesia ang nahawa ng COVID-19 at kasalukuyang nagpapagaling.
Tiniyak ni Lao na patuloy silang nakabantay sa sitwasyon ng mga Pilipino sa Indonesia at tuloy rin ang operasyon ng Embahada roon.
“Nakamonitor kami dito, base sa aming pagtataya, mayroon tayong mga Pilipino na naapektuhan ngayon ng COVID-19, siguro humigit kumulang mga sampu hanggang labing-lima. Hindi naman malubha ang kanilang mga kaso,” ayon sa opisyal.
Nasa 4,000 hanggang 8,000 ang bilang ng mga Pilipinong nagta-trabaho sa Indonesia. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Rosalie Coz)
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