Domestic Economy

Poll: 63% of Tehran Residents Don’t Have Access to Masks, Sanitizers

Poll: 63% of Tehran Residents Don’t Have Access to Masks, SanitizersPoll: 63% of Tehran Residents Don’t Have Access to Masks, Sanitizers

Approximately 63% of the residents of the capital city don’t have sufficient access to medical and hygiene products, including masks and disinfectants, amid the increasing cases of COVID-19, of whom 74% blamed it on market shortage and 22% said they could not afford to buy them.
Social and Cultural Studies Department of Tehran Municipality, in cooperation with the Iranian Students Polling Agency, polled a representative sample of 928 adults living in 22 districts of Tehran via their smartphones between March 2-4. Here’s what they found:
About 61% of respondents said they would support widespread quarantine of the city while 33% opposed it.
More women favored quarantine or isolation than men (66% versus 56%), which is probably thanks to high employment among men than women.
For men, being placed under quarantine suggests lack of earning. This is while women are more concerned about the health of their family and themselves, Hamshahri Online reported.
Generally, 50% of people said they were worried to "a great extent" about the spread of coronavirus, of whom women accounted for 56% and men constituted 44%.
Nearly 39% of the respondents said they would stay at home once they see symptoms of the virus while 23% said they would go to hospitals.
Nearly 76% of the respondents said they believed justice was poorly served, when it came to the quality of medical services offered to officials and ordinary people.



Production Lags Behind Rising Demand

Production of hygiene products has witnessed a 6- to 8-fold increase, since the outbreak of coronavirus in Iran, while current demand requires a twentyfold increase, says Mohammad Reza Shanesaz, the head of Food and Drug Administration of Iran.
In addition, he said there is a large gap between the current N95 mask supply and demand such that before the outbreak, there was only one production unit with an output of 10,000 masks per day but now the figure has reached 40,000 masks per day with the help of Defense Ministry.
The country’s N95 mask demand is 100,000 items, he told Shata news agency, affiliated with the Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade.
Managing Director of Tehran Industrial Estate Company Saber Parnian said the production of cleansers and disinfectants rose eightfold after the outbreak of the virus.
According to the official, there are 220 production units of cleansers and disinfectants in the country, 15 of which are operating at 60% capacity while the rest are operating at less than 30% of their production capacity.
There has been a 100% rise in demand for disinfectants in the country after the outbreak, he said, adding that 40 new mask and disinfectant production units have been established recently.
Parnian noted that the production of masks and disinfectants has increased from 1.5 tons before the outbreak to 8 tons after its spread in the country.



Harshest Penalties for Hoarding

More than six million hoarded masks have been confiscated since the outbreak of the new coronavirus in Iran, Abbas Tabesh, the head of Iran Consumer and Producer Protection Organization affiliated to the Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade said recently.
“The seized masks have been handed to the Health Ministry that has been trusted with the task of distributing such commodities,” he was quoted as saying by IRNA.
Deputy Prosecutor General Saeed Omrani says hoarders and profiteers will face the harshest penalties possible, Mehr News Agency reported.
In order to regulate the market for the abovementioned products, the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration banned the export of masks and mask production’s raw material on Feb. 10-26 respectively.
“The bans, which were imposed on the order of the Consumer and Producer Protection Organization, will remain in place until further notice,” says IRICA Spokesman Rouhollah Latifi.
As per the latest decision by the Market Regulation Headquarters of Industries Ministry, the import tariff rate of mask has decreased from 55% to 5% to meet the growing demand fueled by the coronavirus outbreak, IRNA reported.
What's more, the headquarters upheld the ban on exports of raw materials needed to make masks, which is in force since past two months and tasked all factories making sanitizers, disinfectants and cellulose products (such as tissue paper) to carry out their operations in three shifts per day.
“Raw materials to make masks are all produced domestically in Iran,” Kayvan Gardan, says an official with the Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade.
Meanwhile, alcohol export has been banned to ensure there will be no shortage in the domestic market amid the outbreak of the new coronavirus.
"Since there are restrictions regarding the supply of raw materials needed for the production of disinfectants, export of alcohol has been prohibited by the Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade," Mehdi Sadeqi Niyaraki, an Industries Ministry official was quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.


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