THE Catalan government started to distribute 14 million masks to its region’s public yesterday. Local pharmacies have been tasked with the job of distributing the masks to locals. Each resident can claim one for free by showing a public resident’s health card, according to the local government.
However, after early morning queues and 100,000 distributed, the IT system crashed, slowing down the procedure. But pharmacies continued to distribute the masks by taking down the numbers of health cards manually, which despite slowing things down a little, didn’t stop the public from getting their hands on a face mask. Although it’s not a compulsory requirement, Spain’s health experts recommend that citizens wear a mask especially in public spaces, where social distancing is hard to maintain, such as supermarkets and public transport.
Up until now, because of severe face mask shortages, the public have not been able to buy one, even in pharmacies as supplies were depleted very early on in the Covid-19 crisis. But thanks to the Catalan government, each individual in Catalonia is now entitled to one for free.