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Social media anger as Malaysian duo hang masks to dry for alleged reuse

BY MARK RYAN RAJ, Malay Mail Tuesday, 17 Mar 2020

With face masks running out of stock, some have taken extreme measures to replenish the supply. — Picture via Facebook/Brainless Driver Malaysia Edition

PETALING JAYA, Malaysia — It’s shocking what some people will do to cash in on the anxiety of others, if a post on the Brainless Driver Malaysia Edition Facebook page is anything to go by.

Uploaded two days ago, the post caught a couple of men on camera, supposedly in Cheras, Kuala Lumpur, lounging under the shade while waiting for their many “acquired” surgical masks to dry.

The men are seen casually enjoying a drink together with probably hundreds of surgical masks laid out on the grass around them and hung on the railings around the apartment courtyard.

While it seems as though they are hanging the masks out to dry to be reused, it is not known whether they intended the masks for personal use or sell them off to panic-buyers.

Regardless of their intentions, many social media users were quick to react to the post as they called the men out for their actions.

Social media users weren’t too happy when they saw the surgical masks being hung out to dry. — Screengrab via Facebook/Brainless Driver Malaysia Edition

Many users were enraged that some people would take the opportunity to do something like this just to cash in on the profit, while others were more concerned that the surgical masks they purchased were treated similarly.

“This is terrible. They are taking the opportunity to recycle it in this time of emergency. Hopefully, someone takes action against them,” wrote one user.

“I bet they found these in the trash and plan to wash, dry and resell it,” wrote another user.

Others advised that it would be better to “destroy” surgical masks after use, by tearing it up, to prevent others from reusing it.

The pictures have since made its rounds on various social media platforms with the Facebook post garnering over two thousand shares and one thousand likes.

According to the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC), surgical masks are only made for single-use and should not be reused by members of the public.

In case of shortage, only professionals are permitted to reuse masks if “Limited Reuse” policies are initiated, where a surgical or N95 mask can be reused when engaging with multiple patients if it maintains its fit and function, and the patients suffer from similar pathogens.

The World Health Organisation (WHO), on the other hand, states that not everyone has to wear a mask at all times, despite the common assumption.

WHO stated that a person should only wear a mask if they are taking care of someone with the Covid-19 infection, or if they are coughing and sneezing themselves.

It added that single-use masks are not meant to be reused and that wearing a mask is only effective when combined with frequent hand washing.

From; MALAY MAIL, MALAYSIA Tuesday, 17 Mar 2020

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