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Public demands gloves, face masks be sold at affordable prices as wearing them becomes obligatory

By Bahaa Al Deen Al Nawas - May 04,2020 - Last updated at May 04,2020

Defence Order No. 11, announced by the prime minister on Sunday, makes it mandatory to wear a face mask and gloves prior to entering public entities, where services are provided directly to the public (Photo by Amjad Ghsoun)

AMMAN — Following the government’s announcement of Defence Order No. 11 on Sunday, which commits people to wearing gloves and face masks when in public, and fines them upon violation, people expressed varied reactions on social media, with many demanding that prices of gloves and masks be affordable for all.

Abdallah Rababah, commented on one of the platforms saying that “this is not about the face masks per se, this is about our health and that of our parents.”

Waleed Mohammad wrote in agreement saying that “face masks are important to prevent the transmission of the virus, which will allow people to protect themselves and go back to work.”

“Some pharmacies may sell masks at overpriced rates, but at the consumer corporation their prices are fixed,” he added.

As some people accused the government of taking the decision as a way to take money from the people, Mazen Ayoubb commented: “Many countries in the world have imposed fines for not wearing face masks, including Germany, the UAE and Turkey,” according to regional and international media outlets.

“The decision is a preventive measure and the fines are for protection not to take people’s money,” Ayoubb noted.

Tariq Altamimi wrote: “We are with the government, but someone needs to deal with those who monopolise face masks and sell them at such high prices.”

Meanwhile, Jordan Food and Drug Administration (JFDA) Director General Nizar Mhaidat said on Almamlka TV on Sunday that the actual cost of a box containing 50 face masks, manufactured locally, is between JD7 and JD7.25.

The JFDA priced the pack of masks at JD5.5 late March, Mhaidat said, noting that the cost of raw materials used in making the masks rose, which is why their prices rose as well.

For his part, Civil Service Consumer Corporation Director General Salman Qudah said that all factories have been instructed to supply the boxes at JD7.15 per box, which are sold at shops at a maximum price of JD8 to JD8.5, expecting demand to rise after the issuance of Defence Order No.11.

The Defence Order’s first clause stipulates that every person must adhere to the prescribed distancing space and commit to wearing a face mask and gloves prior to entering public entities, including ministries, government departments, official and public institutions and entities where services are provided directly to the public, including companies, institutions, establishments, malls, shopping centres and commercial stores, medical clinics and health centres.

The second paragraph stipulates that health service providers and service providers in the entities referred to in Paragraph 1 of this clause, their co-workers and workers in delivery services are requested to wear masks and gloves and to deny visitors entry to these entities without wearing face masks or gloves.

The first paragraph of the second clause stipulates that whoever violates the provisions of Paragraph 1 of the First Clause shall be punished with a fine of no less than JD20 and not exceeding JD50, while the second paragraph says whoever violates the provisions of Paragraph 2 of the First Clause shall be penalised with a fine of no less than JD100 and not exceeding JD200, and the entity where the violation has taken place will be closed for a period of 14 days.




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