The head of the Istanbul Chamber of Pharmacists, Zafer Cenap Sarıalioğlu, has said that pharmacists are so occupied with distributing masks that they are now unable to undertake their routine work.
“Distributing masks in such a tempo does not seem to be sustainable. We can no longer do our routine work in our pharmacies. We are unable to provide our medication and consultancy services,” Sarıalioğlu told Habertürk TV on April 21.Health Ministry too slow to distribute masks, Turkey's pharmacists warn
Early in April, the government announced that sale of face masks has been banned in the country and citizens will receive medical masks free of charge in an effort to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus. The pharmacies have been then given the duty to distribute masks which are provided to them by the Health Ministry.
However many citizens have been since complaining that they still haven’t received the codes on their mobile phones necessary to get to free masks from pharmacies.
Sarıalioğlu said that Istanbul pharmacies have in the last 10 days distributed 13 million masks. “Our demand is that also municipalities and the offices of neighborhood heads [muhtar] also step in [to distribute masks]. We need to do this distribution of masks through a couple of channels. We need new regulations,” he said.
Free mask delivery does not cover citizens over 65 and under 20 years of age, as people within these age ranges are banned from leaving their homes under partial curfew measures.Turkish Pharmacists Association urges citizens to wait for Health Ministry text to claim surgical masks