Fake medical mask threatens Indonesia citizen
With the Covid-19 pandemic still ongoing in many countries in the world, including Indonesia, medical masks are still in high demand. The use of medical masks plays an important role in combating the spread of the virus. The high demand for medical masks has opened opportunities for people to offer medical masks from various brands in both online and offline marketplaces. However, can the medical masks we purchase really defend us from the virus?
In February 2020, the Jakarta Metropolitan Office arrested 10 people identified to be manufacturing fake medical masks. Around 30,000 boxes of fake medical masks were seized. None of them met Indonesia’s national standard requirements.
Research also found that the medical masks with various brands, including the imported ones, offered online are below the standard requirements. Many people prefer to purchase their masks online due to the cheap price. Yet, many also do not know that cheap masks come with a high risk of being exposed to Covid-19 virus. The same research found that KN95 or N95 masks that circulate in the marketplace also do not meet the standard requirements. KN95 or N95 masks are required especially for the health workers. However, some health workers complained, saying that the masks they purchase are not comfortable for long use. This could be due to the low quality of the masks, which can cause shortness of breath that triggers dizziness.
Indonesian people were then suggested to look for the Health Ministry’s seal of approval in the packaging of face masks. People can also refer to the ministry’s database of licensed producers and distributors on its official website. This does not solve the problem completely, however, as the seal of approval can be self-printed and counterfeiters can produce fake masks using boxes of infamous face masks brands.
Earlier in 2021, a hospital in Jakarta received donations of N95 respirator masks. However, the masks turned out to be fake. As confirmed by the brand owner, the masks have different product serial numbers compared to the genuine one.
To prevent the widespread use of fake masks, Integrity Asia provides all-inclusive services needed to help your company protect your trademark. With our experiences, we are ready to assist your company in conducting investigation of counterfeit goods circulating either offline or online to identify the source of the products. Lastly, we can assist in conducting enforcement activities with the Law Enforcement Agencies when necessary.
Photo by Jievani Weerasinghe on Unsplash