• Facemasks will not reach pharmacies either today or tomorrow.

On Tuesday the Generalitat announced with a great deal of hype: the issue of free facemasks by pharmacies in the Community to people over 65 years of age and to those who are part of groups at risk.

The story was carried in The Leader and many other Spanish newspapers, the fact that, at long last the Comunidad had agreed to cover a very vulnerable group of the population who have been unable to find masks of their own.

As might be expected queues formed up at many Pharmacies today, Wednesday, only for people to be told by staff that there had been no official direction given, or stocks received.

As such the minister was asked to clarify why the masks have not yet reached the pharmacies, and when they will. Her response was “they will not do so either today or tomorrow. It will be announced through official channels so that everyone knows that they can go to the pharmacy to pick them up. ”

Barceló added that “maybe tomorrow” she will be able to announce which of the 1.2 million people in the Valencian Community meet the necessary characteristics.

Today’s wave of inquiries prompted the Official College of Pharmacists of Valencia (MICOF) to announce that the initiative is not yet underway: “The agreement will be launched in the coming days. We will inform users in pharmacies and through the media and social networks. ”

Pharmacists then asked that customers act with caution: “Avoid collapsing the pharmacy until the launch of the measure is announced,” the MICOF requested just a few hours ago.

Asked why the measure was announced without there being a date for implementation, Barceló said that it was to reassure the population: “Yesterday we were distributing masks among the workers and we felt that it was important to reassure the rest of the population that they too were going to receive masks”.

Barceló said that she wanted to send this reassuring message now that more PPE has been received from China especially as “pharmacies do not currently have supplies of masks.”

As explained in yesterday’s article we are told that the beneficiaries will be people over 65 years of age as well as those who considered to be in groups at risk in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. All of them will be able to collect their masks by presenting the SIP card at the pharmacy offices in the next few days.