The Czech government has banned the sale of FFP3 medical face masks to anyone but healthcare and social care facilities, public health bodies, emergency rescue services and other state administration bodies.
The government said the FFP3 type of masks is most effective.
The move is an attempt by the government to stop people from panic-buying the protective gear and leaving medical professionals at risk.
“Providing medical assistance and ensuring the functioning of the healthcare system is an absolute priority …. we must be able to provide our citizens with medical assistance and treat the infected. If health workers become infected, the health system will fail and we will not be able to stop the disease and protect our citizens. That is why we have to provide a sufficient number of respirators for medical professionals and then, of course, for the Integrated Rescue System, ” the country’s Health Minister Adam Vojtěch said in a statement.
Five people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in the Czech Republic.
One school in Prague, the country’s capital, has been shut over a suspected coronavirus case. A number of public events have been cancelled, and the government announced the Biathlon World Cup, scheduled for this week, will take place without spectators.