The Importers and Wholesalers Association of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Ghana, Tuesday urged the public not to patronize low priced face shields because they are sub-standard.
The Association also asked the public to ignore commercials on fake brands at unrealistically low prices on traditional and social media.
Mr Kelvin King-Dawie, Public Relations Officer of the Association, made the call at a press conference in Accra on the topic: "The Infiltration of PPE (Face Shield) on the Ghanaian Market: Importation, Supply and Pricing."
Mr King-Dawie said the influx of the shields on the Ghanaian market was negatively affecting the businesses of members and individuals who had spent millions of Ghana Cedis to import the medically approved and genuine brands of the product. They were compelled to also drastically reduce the prices of their products to enable them to recoup some of their investment.
He, however, refuted suggestions that the fall in prices was as a result of increased production, adding that even though the country had enough of the product in stock, it was not enough to cause a dramatic fall in prices overnight.
"Reports reaching the association indicate that the market has been infiltrated with sub-standard face shields selling at low prices and thus affecting the supply and distribution of genuine face shields in the market. Many importers have also reported cases of stolen goods from various ports across the country.
"These face shields are believed to be supplied by middlemen at rather cheap prices at the expense of investments made in the importation of high standard face shields into the country," he said.
He added that effective Tuesday, August 11, 2020, the Association would peg the new wholesale price of all high standard medical face shields at Fifteen Ghana Cedis (GHS15.00) across the country.
Mr King-Dawie cautioned the public over the health risk such fake face shields posed to them, saying: "The public should note that medically approved face shield is one produced with PET: the short for polyethylene terephthalate and medical name for polyester."
He said the Association was currently engaging with relevant stakeholders, particularly government to ensure that the supply of such fake products was minimized, to protect the health of the public.
Madam Hanny Aba, Chairperson, also appealed to retailers to ensure proper handling and storage of the products to avoid contamination.
She encouraged the public to continue to wear the face shields to complement the face masks to stem the spread of COVID-19.
She also urged other importers, wholesalers and retailers of such products to join the Association to help craft a common standard, price and to boost business.