The rush for protective gears has increased in the past days in Yaounde and other parts of Cameroon as authorities continue to reinforce measures to avoid the spread of the COVID-19.
It is now a requirement to put on a protective gear before gaining access into a public structure or any other private enterprise.
The business of protective gears has gone up especially around health facilities. Beginning Monday, April 6, the use of protective gears was made compulsory for all visitors of the Yaounde Gynaeco-Obstetric and Pediatric Hospital.
Vendors could be seen lining up around the hospital as they make brisk business by selling the masks to persons trying to access the hospital.
“A nose mask costs FCFA 100, 200 Or 300 depending on the quality the client wants and there is a rush for them,” one of the vendors Rene Tsapi said.
Be it the ‘surgical’ gears or the filtering facepiece, they are all sold as hot cake in the city of Yaounde as denizens try to stay safe from the virus.
The mask business has even converted many seamtresses and tailors into producers as they fabricate masks from wool and cotton. Though not medically recommended, denizens still go for them so far as they offer some sort of protection.
Though it is recommended to get protective gears from pharmacies and other recommended centres, the retailers say they keep them in good conditions and the users are not in any danger.
“These same masks we buy in bulk are sold in pharmacies and we try to preserve it as cool as possible before selling it to our clients,” another retailer, Pascal Ntouba said.
Around the Social Insurance Hospital at the Essos neighbourhood in Yaounde, the situation is identical as well as at the Yaounde Central Hospital where we protective gears are en vogue.
However, putting on protective gears is not only common while accessing hospitals or other public places.
It has been brisk business around travel agencies even before the Minister of Transport of Transport Jean Ernest Massena Ngalle Bibehe signed an order on Tuesday, April 7 making the use of nose masks compulsory at travel agencies.
“I come in contact with several persons on a daily basis so I need to protect myself so I put on thie nose mask, my gloves before I start work,”a bus conductor popularly called Yoga at one of the travel agencies at the Mvan neighbourhood said. He welcomed the decision of the Minister and said this will further protect passengers as well as all users of transport services.