Public urged not to fall prey to cheap face masks

Azlan Othman

An authorised distributor of medical face masks in Brunei Darussalam is urging consumers not to be enticed by offers of cheap face masks on the market, amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

May Lim of SMB Food Manufacturing Sdn Bhd, who imports Kadi Butch medical masks from Guangdong, China said, “The buyer should check to see if the mask is three-ply and is properly packed with its own certificate, address and barcode.” The three-ply mask has a melt blown layer in the middle, where the non-woven fabric is the core filter which has a high filtration rate, isolation, heat insulation and oil absorption function.

Lim, who has been supplying these masks since February, also noted the presence of errant traders who are attempting to cash in on the current situation by hiking prices from the usual few cents to a few dollars per piece.

“I once caught a trader who was re-selling my face masks at twice the cost on the market, which is BND125 for 100 pieces,” she said, adding that her normal price is BND32 for 50 pieces.

“Then there are masks that cannot protect us from bacteria, but only dust. A proper disposable mask should be able to offer us 95 per cent protection from bacteria, droplets and smog. It should not leak when wet, or catch fire easily.”

The Bulletin has also learned that there are several retailers selling face masks at the cost of BND1 for five pieces, or BND7 per piece.

Buyers should check to see if the mask is three-ply and is properly packed with its own certificate, address and barcode. PHOTO: AZLAN OTHMAN