PUTRAJAYA, April 8 — Face mask supplies in the market have improved to 25 percent compared to just four percent before this, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry (KPDNHEP) enforcement director Datuk Iskandar Halim Sulaiman said.
“This means from 100 outlets checked, 25 of them had face mask supply,” he told reporters after checking on essential items supplies at the 101 City Mall Tesco Hypermarket here today.
Despite the increase, there is still insufficient supply to meet market demand, he said.
Iskandar Halim said demand for face masks nationwide, including for hospitals, is estimated to be at five million pieces per day, but local producers can only supply about 1.1 million a day, while the rest had to be imported.
KPDNHEP was also closely monitoring the market to ensure the item is not sold beyond the maximum price of RM1.50 per piece for the three-ply type, he said, adding that so far, there is compliance by traders.
Iskandar Halim also said that supplies for hand sanitisers are also up in the market to almost 60 percent.
Meanwhile, he said three men were issued compounds totalling RM250,000 for discreetly storing face masks supply and also selling them above the maximum price, this after a raid was conducted on a premise in Kota Damansara, Petaling Jaya on March 25.
He said 223,000 pieces of three-ply face masks, valued at RM446,000 were seized in the raid.
“Investigations found that they were selling their supply of face masks via social media for RM3.50 a piece,” he said.