COVID-19: Prices of personal protection equipment soar in Anambra

Governor Obiano of Anambra State

By Sunny A. David

Following the intensified battle to contain the spread of Coronavirus, some residents of Onitsha, Anambra State commercial City have expressed worries over their inability to access Personal Protection Equipment, (PPE), against the scourge.
Our correspondent, who monitored the availability and price of some PPEs like hand sanitisers and nose mask reported that the price of the commodities have increased geometrically where they were available.
A survey on prices at some of the Pharmacy stores around the town revealed that nose masks cost between N300 and N400 for a unit while hand sanitisers were sold at between N1,500 and N3,000 depending on the size.
A seller said that the mask which they used to purchase for N450 for a pack of 50 units was now sold for over N8, 500, pointing out that COVID-19 outbreak had induced serious inflation on the commodity.
“Before now, we used to sell mask for N30 or N50, we even used to give school children for free, but now a pack is about N8, 500 in the market instead of N400 or N500 that we used to buy it.
“For hand sanitisers, we don’t have them again except these few ones which is N2, 000 each,” the source who preferred anonymity said.Mr. John Obiokafor, a resident of Nkpor said that most people were not using nose mask because of the cost, saying that an individual was expected to use one per day.
Mr. Obiokafor said the cost of maintaining personal hygiene was high and called on the State government to take measures that could make people have easy access to the protection equipment.
“The items are available in some places but very high, imagining spending N300 on a nose mask everyday in addition to the number of persons in the family, so it is better we all stay in the house.
“The State government should go beyond advising us to wash hands, use sanitisers and wear nose mask to find way to make it affordable for the people,” he said.
Another residents who simply identified self as Jenny said there was need for abundant water for effective hand washing exercise.
Jenny said water supply in Awka was private and expensive as there was no public water supply in the town.
She, however, urged residents to do the best they could to stay safe in spite of the challenges like stating away from crowd, and staying indoors where necessary.