According to a press release issued by the ASMR, the Administration of State Material Reserves (ASMR) has ordered the disposal of over 17 million face masks with an expired use-by date.
The state acquired the masks in the spring of 2020 at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. The masks were initially intended for use by the general public and were distributed free of charge.
The ASMR claims that the masks are no longer safe to use due to their expiration date, which has now passed. The ASMR has ordered their disposal by the relevant regulations.
The ASMR has also stated that it has already ordered new face masks, which will be distributed free of charge to the general public shortly.
The decision to dispose of the masks has been criticized by some, who argue that the masks could still be used by those unable to afford new ones. Others have criticized the government for not distributing the masks earlier when they would have been more effective in preventing the spread of the virus.
The ASMR has defended its decision, stating that the general public’s safety is its top priority and that it is necessary to dispose of expired masks to prevent the spread of the virus.
The disposal of the masks is expected to cost approximately CZK 10 million.