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Face Mask Uncertainty in Germany as it Becomes Mandatory

Germany sent perplexing messages to its citizens and to the world as it made wearing face masks mandatory in public transports and shops right after government announced relaxing of coronavirus measures. German Focus magazine reported that Foreign Minister Heiko Mass and North Rhine Westphalia premier Armin Laschet had a dispute over ordering of face masks as prices are doubling in the country.

German Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn said on April 17th that the speed of coronavirus infections in Germany were finally stopped, according to German state broadcaster, WDR. The German government then announced the relaxing of coronavirus measures starting from April 20th. Shops smaller than 800 square meters, car dealers and several other businesses opened their doors on Monday. However, German states made wearing face masks in public transports and shops mandatory one by one just a couple of days after the federal relaxing policy.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, however, warned public about adhering the rules in place said a second wave of the virus could be much more destructive which sent perplexing message on why loosening of measures were being put in place if the danger was still out there.

There have already been several complaints on social media about face masks prices in Germany. One user shared a picture of the price tag, showing 15 euros for 10 masks. And that seemingly is only the tip of the iceberg for Germans. Germany has been praised by the whole world for its fight against coronavirus as it has the lowest death rate after Turkey among major European countries.

German Focus Magazine reported that Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Mass and head of North Rhine Westphalia state, Armin Laschet had an argument over procurement of face masks. According to the article, Laschet wanted order 5 million masks from Turkey, a move Mass vehemently objected. German Foreign Minister wanted to keep ordering masks only from China, according to Focus. Eventually, Armin Laschet ended up ordering masks from Turkey but that dispute could herald bigger problems for Germany in the upcoming days as mask shortage will bite bigger chunk from people’s income.

German Saarland state had announced distribution of free face masks a couple of days earlier. Thousands of people showed up to form a waiting line longer than one kilometer to secure a couple of masks.

North Rhine Westphalia state had fallen victim to a 15-million- euros online fraud when authorities ordered 10 million masks from a sham company which later they discovered never existed.

German public is already having hard time to find masks as the regulation kicked off. If Federal and state governments can not manage to provide sufficient amount of masks for the public, prices could multiply in the upcoming days.

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