The first protective face masks from the shipment of personal protective equipment delivered to Estonia on Sunday are now for sale in Tallinn's pharmacies.
The recommended retail price of one protective mask is less than 70 cents, although it is up to each pharmacy to decide on pricing, major supplier Magnum AS said in a press release last week. If a mask were to cost 70 cents, a package containing 50 masks would cost €35.
At that price, masks are sold in Benu pharmacies on Gonsiori street and Narva maantee, as well as in Euroapteek on Narva maantee. Ten masks can be bought for €7 in these pharmacies, ERR's online news in Estonian reports.
A pack of 50 masks costs €43.29 in a Benu pharmacy on Endla street, however, meaning that the price of one mask is 87 cents.
Magnum said that one person can only buy one 50-pack of masks at a time so there would remain enough for everyone. Before the crisis, the price of a pack of 50 masks was some €5-6.
As of Wednesday morning, protective masks were not yet for sale in Apotheka at Viru Keskus.
It is not sensible to obtain a large personal supply as more masks will be delivered, Minister of Public Administration Jaak Aab said on Wednesday.
"Storming pharmacies is a potential risk, this is why I recommend ordering masks from e-pharmacies. Wearing a mask does not provide full protection from coronavirus, this is why it is not reasonable to stockpile them. First and foremost, we have to stick to the 2+2 rule," Aab added.
The batch put on sale in Estonia is sufficient for covering the preliminary personal protection needs of most people in Estonia, provided that people do not start hoarding masks, Kaidi Kelt, pharmacist and retail director of Benu, said on Tuesday.
"The masks sold at pharmacies are hygiene products, which help prevent infection but the spread of the virus is best prevented by staying at home. For essential visits to public places, people are advised to wear a mask," Kelt said.
Editor: Anders Nõmm