Face mask ran out of supply & prices in Manila jump to P200.Doctors advise citizens to stay indoors.
Updated: Jan 20, 2020
Authorities will inspect stores in Manila following reports that the price of face masks spiked as a volcano south of the capital threatened to erupt, Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna-Pangan said Monday.
Taal Volcano, a popular tourist attraction set in the center of a picturesque lake, spewed on Sunday a massive ash cloud that drifted across parts of Luzon, including Metro Manila, forcing the cancellation of flights and closure of schools and government offices.
Lacuna-Pangan said her office received complaints that N95 masks were being sold for P200, up from the previous P25 to P30, prompting her to order the the city's permits bureau and licenses office to check retailers.
"Huwag naman po natin gamitin ang panahon na ito para manamantala. Tandaan po natin, delikado po sa kalusugan nila ito," she said in a statement.
"Ayaw ko pong makakita ng pasyenteng may asthma na itinakbo sa ospital dahil lang hindi siya makahanap o makabili ng mask," she added.
(Let's not use this time to take advantage of others. Let's remember, this is dangerous to the health. We don't want asthma patients to be rushed to the hospital just because they cannot find or afford masks.)
Volcanic ash can trigger difficulty in breathing, coughs, eye and throat irritation, said the Manila Public Information Office, which shared tips on how to avoid inhaling the pyroclastic material.
Doctors advise citizens to stay indoors as ashfall continues
Doctors urged citizens to stay indoors to limit exposure to ashfall from Taal Volcano.
According to pulmonologist Giancarlo Arandia, ash emitted by the volcano are so tiny that it can easily go into the openings of the respiratory system.
“Hindi mo pa alam kung kailan ‘yung landfall. Try to cover your nose and your mouth,” Arandia told DZMM Teleradyo as ash from Taal Volcano fell over Metro Manila and parts of Luzon.
Arandia said people can also use a damp towel to cover the nose, aside from an N95 mask, when going outdoors.
Ophthalmologist Nilo Flor Cruz said ashes have acidic elements that can irritate the eyes.
“Irritating ‘yung ash na ‘yon dahil medyo acidic ‘yon eh. Kung dati sa panahon ng Pinatubo, pwedeng mangalawang ‘yung mga bubong, paano pa ‘yung mata natin,” the doctor told DZMM Teleradyo.
When eyes are affected, the doctor recommended to use eye lubricant drops in order to remove the tiny ashes.
He also recommended washing the face instead of wiping it with a damp towel as the rubbing will irritate the eyes more.
The state seismology bureau raised alert level 4 on Sunday night after Taal Volcano spewed a giant column of steam and ash.