Müzeyyen Yüce / DUVAR

Pharmacists in Ankara are experiencing a serious shortage of personal protective equipment amid the coronavirus outbreak, Chair of Ankara’s Pharmacists Chamber Taner Ercanlı said.

“Our colleagues don’t have masks to wear themselves, let alone to sell,” Ercanlı said.

One of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommendations as a precaution against coronavirus, surgical masks have skyrocketed in demand, Ercanlı said.

The surge in demand has also caused a spike in prices on even the simplest surgical masks that used to be sold for one or two Turkish Lira, Ercanlı added.

“Pharmacies can buy the simplest surgical masks for about four lira and they sell it at that price,” Ercanlı said. “Some pharmacies just don’t have any more masks, so the pharmacist can’t wear one either.”

Ankara’s Pharmacists Chamber installed yellow lines to maintain distance between clerks and shoppers, distributed goggles to pharmacists and disinfected shops.

However, pharmacists are on the frontlines of the fight against coronavirus and need support from the public, Ercanlı said.

“We have many colleagues above 65 and they keep working despite the curfew on their age group to serve the public,” Ercanlı said.

“We want to keep working. We just want the public to hear us out and support us.”