The Consumer Rights Association urged authorities to clarify what they called uncertainty and lack of protection offered by face masks against the coronavirus.
In a statement on Monday, the association said consumers lacked knowledge on which masks to use, pointing to the lack of legal regulations and highlighted the danger of using unsafe masks.
The association cited research by pharmacist Bülent Yılmaz, head of its branch in the southern province of Gaziantep. Yılmaz’s research points out that the majority of masks on sale do not have “melt-blown” fabric that serves as a filter. The main reason for this is the high price of the fabric, which is sold for about $16 (TL 121) per kilogram.
It says consumers lack knowledge about the technical features of masks that offer effective protection against infection and called on the government to identify these features and safety criteria to ensure only masks that comply with sufficient safety standards are sold. The association also called for more inspections as well as legal and administrative measures against mask producers who fail to meet the production standards of protective masks.
Wearing masks, ensuring social distancing and paying attention to personal hygiene are key measures against the pandemic, which continues to take a toll on Turkey. The country has reported 1,519 new COVID-19 cases, 61 deaths and 1,116 recoveries in the past 24 hours, the country's Health Ministry said Sunday. The ministry data said the total death toll in the country had reached 7,506. Some 95,321 tests have been conducted in the past 24 hours, and the total number of COVID-19 cases has reached 302,867. In a statement on Twitter, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said the number of patients in intensive care units had reached 1,456, noting that the public needed to take responsibility to ensure the number decreases. "The way to display our loyalty to our health care staff is by uniting under precautions," Koca said.