DOH orders price freeze on face masks, other medical supplies in areas affected by Taal eruption

Department of Health (DOH)

The Department of Health (DOH) on Tuesday ordered a prize freeze on face masks, nebulizers, and other medicine in areas affected by Taal Volcano’s eruption.

In a memorandum signed by Health Sec. Francisco Duque III, the items under the price cap order are paracetamols, antihistamines, antibiotics, dextrose fluids, and disposable face masks.

The order came shortly after reports of price surge on the following items following the ‘panic-buying’ of Filipinos to gear up against the Taal’s sulfuric ash.

“Essential medicines have been identified as a basic necessity especially in times of natural calamities and man-made disasters that put the health and lives of Filipinos at risk because of unfavorable conditions that cause or aggravate disease which may lead to epidemics or massive deaths,” the memorandum reads.

“Unless otherwise lifted by the President, it shall remain in effect for the duration of the situation,” it added.

Several stores reportedly ran out of N95 face masks on Sunday after the Taal Volcano spewed gray ash and hot steam. It also caused a commotion among the public as reports of inhaling ash could lead to cough and difficulty in breathing and could also irritate the eyes.

Earlier, Manila Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna-Pangan said that she received reports of people selling face masks for Php 200 from Php 25 to Php 30.

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