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Red Cross and Prague join forces to deliver protective masks to those in need

In Czechia, wearing a mask or other protection against coronavirus is mandatory

  • March 27, 2020 14:30
  • Author Aseniya Dimitrova
Medium 3117013 1071377 rousky 093
Source: City of Prague

Prague city will be joining forces with volunteers from the Red Cross to deliver face masks to those in need. Everyone can donate items, even ones that are home-made, and local authorities will make sure they are properly disinfected and distributed.

Citizen solidarity in the face of shortages

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, protection masks have become a particularly coveted item both for those who suffer from the coronavirus and for those who want to reduce the chances of getting infected by the easily transmissible disease.

Shortly after the pandemic hit Prague, these became hardly available in pharmacies and drugstores. Prize speculation is also not uncommon. What further exacerbates the situation is the fact that wearing facial protection (a mask or a scarf) on public transport, in shops and offices in Czechia is mandatory and is subject to a fine of CZK 20,000.

Luckily, the shortages and the desperate need for protective equipment have sparked citizen solidarity in and beyond the city. Citizens have started producing home-made textile masks and offering them for free to whoever cannot get one in other ways.

Safety first

However, as kind as this gesture might be, the key in such exchanges is the safe delivery of the protective gear. That is why the municipality, together with the Red Cross, has launched a mechanism for the collection, sterilization and distribution of masks.

Point of delivery of protection masksPoint of delivery of the protective masks against Covid-19 accepts donations since Thursday. Photo by City of Prague

As of Thursday, 26 March, masks can be brought to the tent of the Czech Red Cross on Mariánské Square every day from 9:00 to 18:00. Masks made out of 100 % are also accepted. They will later be taken for sterilization to the Františku Hospital, sealed and distributed to social service workers, seniors, people with disabilities, members of the Integrated Rescue System and others.

The Czech capital wants to remind locals that cotton masks are more suitable for regular citizens, while disposables ones are used mostly by medical personnel. In order to preserve their high efficiency against the virus, one must remember to wear each disposable mask only once and change it every two hours, while textile ones should be washed (preferably at 90 degrees) and ironed.

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