Health April 4, 2020 | 7:48 am

The masks: Different types, different prices

It is important that those who have purchased reusable devices take the care necessary to reuse them. Carefully follow the instructions on them.

Santo Domingo, RD


Sandra paid 550 pesos for a reusable mask, but “cuquiká,” she admits. “I never imagined that this would be so expensive, but I preferred to sacrifice and pay 2,200 pesos for four, one for me, one for my husband and the other two for my children. I know they are abusing prices, but I would rather be fooled than be sick.” She explains convinced that this piece is key to avoid getting Covid-19.

She is one of the thousands of people who are stocking up on masks to cope with the coronavirus as ever since the dreaded Covid-19 spread around the world, this accessory is no longer exclusive to doctors. So much so that, despite the provisions of the World Health Organization (WHO), that only they and people with the virus or the flu should use protective masks, the reality is different: everyone wants one and should wear one to avoid contagion.

In the Dominican Republic, the Minister of Public Health, Rafael Sánchez Cardenas, and the authorities of the Dominican Medical College (CMD) ordered the use of a mask for the entire population. But before this acceptance some questions arise: What type can I use ?, What does a mask cost ?, Do I have money to buy it ?, Are there enough in the establishments that distribute them?

Listin Diario looked for the answers to these questions, calling pharmacies, contacting testimonies of people and consulting informal distributors who are experiencing “their August” in April. Of course, the medical opinion regarding the proper use and which mask is ideal has been of great importance.

From the medical point of view

“It is vital, necessary and effective that people are guided through a campaign, which can be virtual, regarding what type of mask can be used and how to maintain those that are reusable. Let them know that if they do it at home, they cannot make it with any material because this, far from helping them, would harm them. ” The opinion is of France Adames, internist doctor.

He says that fortunately many donations of this piece are already arriving in the country and this will allow many to get them for free or if they have to buy them, it will be for a fair price. “In a nutshell, speculation will end,” he says.

The specialist says that those indicated by international authorities to protect themselves from Covid-19 are those recognized under the FFP2 registry for having a protection efficiency of 92% with a minimum external leakage filtration of 8%. With regard to the FFP3, he states that it is even more effective, as it covers 98%, with its minimum external leakage being 2%. They can be ordered by this reference in pharmacies.

These masks are more expensive because you have to change them regularly, his recommendation is to use the disposable ones because you put them on and your boots, and voila! “But with reusable ones, there may be a danger, because not everyone is willing to carry out the hygiene routine they deserve. But, in conclusion, we are going to use our mask and pay a lot of attention to the care we must have,” he points out.

Adames recognizes that there are people who cannot buy masks, and for this reason, he suggests making them at home but avoiding plastic and materials that emit the so-called fluff, since this can cause rhinitis or any other inconvenience.

In the pharmacies

Calls to seven pharmacies to find out the prices of the masks, as well as the types available to them allowed us to know that, although there is a similarity in the high prices, they do not coincide in these. There are differences of up to 50 and 100 pesos between one and the other in relation to disposable and reusable ones. But it is true that the cost that abounds is 650 a box of 10 disposables and 590 a reusable one.

Informal sale

Since the use of masks soared in the country due to the presence of the coronavirus, there have been many people who have dedicated themselves to commercializing them. There are those who charge 1,500 pesos for five units of reusable pieces. Others sell a single one for up to 600 pesos and, according to demand, prices are increasing.


Surgical Types: can be flat or pleated (cup-shaped). Compared to other types of masks, they are not as effective in preventing infection, but the transmission is avoided. Filtering: these masks protect the person who wears it from being infected by inhaling environmental, particulate or aerosol contaminants.


Despite the observation that has been made to avoid buying the masks at traffic lights, there are places in the city, where they sell them for 50 pesos.

Abraham Lincoln with John F. Kennedy is one of those points.

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