Imagine that instead of keeping germs out, the face mask you’re wearing exposes you to a plethora of diseases due to the unhygienic way it was packaged.
With the item in huge demand in Indonesia (and around the world) due to the coronavirus outbreak, paranoia is seeping in that face masks in the country may not be as sterile as they should be, all thanks to one disturbing viral video.
The video, taken on Feb. 19 and received widespread circulation after it was shared by gossip Instagram account Lambe Turah, shows a huge pile of surgical masks strewn on the floor in what appears to be an illicit operation for the resale of face masks. A caption for the video alleged that the face masks had been discarded from a hospital.
Not only were the workers sitting on and around the pile, we can also see two of them walking barefoot on the face masks.
The man who recorded the video narrated that the masks were being sorted for repackaging, after which they will be sent to a buyer named Mariana. He also held up one mask to the camera to show that it was made by Indonesian face mask brand Solida.
Maesindo Indonesia, the company that produces Solida, denied that they had any involvement in the video. The company posted a video on Instagram giving a tour of their factory in Yogyakarta, which was far removed from the conditions seen in the viral video.
Authorities have yet to issue any statement on the viral video.
While there has not been any confirmed COVID-19 case in Indonesia, prices of face masks in the country have reportedly increased nearly tenfold amid the scare.
Experts have said that most face masks are unlikely to stop transmission of the virus. The World Health Organization prioritizes other preventive measures against the coronavirus over masks, such as frequent hand-washing and using and discarding tissues when sneezing or coughing.