Latvian Radio visited several shops where medical masks and respirators are sold.
The range of FFP2 respirator prices is from 70 cents to 1.17 euros per piece. The price differences of medical masks are bigger. It appears that the difference between the cheapest and the most expensive medical masks is four times. No difference has been observed between the medical masks in terms of quality and safety, but it has been observed in the respirators.
For example, if one buys medical masks for 16 cents apiece and changes them a few times a day, it will cost about €15 a month. Meanwhile, respirators costing 1 EUR that can be worn for eight hours will cost about €30 a month.
According to Rīga Stradiņš University professor Ivars Vanadziņš, respirators can be worn more than once but they must be stored in a clean paper bag. In his opinion, there is a risk that the new rules will force people to rarely change the masks in an effort to save money.
“First of all, then it no longer works as a respirator because it no longer protects anything. The filter is full and we breathe along the edges. “If it's more than a few days, then the mask is, of course, the perfect medium for all micro-organisms,” said Vanadziņš.
The specialist supports the new arrangements for medical masks and respirators, only adding that the government had had to adopt them in the autumn.