Fifteen million veils are currently heading to the mailboxes of more than three million Czech seniors. However, there are concerns whether these protective aids are not devalued due to the mistake of the Czech Post. Post office workers unpacked them from the original packaging and placed them in plain paper envelopes. Although it could not be done otherwise, the drapes could be devalued. Both by law and maybe in reality.
The problem arose when 15 million veils in original packaging of 50 pieces arrived at the Czech Post. However, according to a government decree, only five veils and one respirator were to come to each senior. The post office therefore decided to improvise.
They took the veils out of the original packaging and repacked them in ordinary paper envelopes. However, a wave of criticism came almost immediately, because such an ordinary envelope does not retain moisture or other external influences. Thus, the veil can be completely useless on the way to seniors, and according to some critics, it may even harm them.
The procedure chosen by Česká pošta does not seem to the State Institute for Drug Control (SÚKL) either. “It is necessary to say that these cases are not sterile products. In general, however, it can be stated that according to the law, medical devices should be treated in such a way that the original packaging is not violated before delivery to the user,” says SÚKL spokeswoman Barbora Peterová. However, she no longer wanted to comment on the method of delivery or possible contamination of the mouthpieces.
Nevertheless, SÚKL went to inspect one of the Czech Post workplaces due to the changing of the drapes. “I can confirm that. Given that the matter is under investigation, it is not possible at this time to provide details or anticipate any further developments,” added Peter.
However, if we strictly follow the word of the law, it would probably be necessary to take the veils out of the envelopes again and dispose of them.
The law sees it clearly
With regard to the protection of human health, the relevant section of the law orders the removal of any medical device, including mouthpieces, if its original packaging has been broken before delivery to the user.
“At the same time, all information from the manufacturer concerning the correct use must be supplied to the end-user together with the drapes. If the drape is unpacked by anyone from the original packaging and at the same time the end-user does not receive the instructions issued by the manufacturer, of the Act on Medical Devices is unusable and as such should be liquidated, “said lawyer Jakub Král for the Health Diary.
The Aktuálně.cz editorial staff also turned to the Ministry of the Interior with questions, but this did not answer until the publication of this article. It is not clear how the government will react to the supply of veils in envelopes.
However, the post office is worth not making any serious mistakes. Its spokesman Matyáš Vitík stated that the state carrier did not receive any instructions from the government on how to handle the veils. He also stressed that all the areas where the mouthpiece packaging took place had been thoroughly disinfected. “We also strive to ensure that all our workers have protective gloves and drapes and use disinfection,” he added for Aktuálně.cz.
However, this does not solve the concerns about the transport of veils in paper envelopes, due to which it cannot be safely ruled out that veils will not lose their protective ability on the way to seniors. The paper envelope will release a lot. Only the respirator that is the only one left in the plastic wrap in the envelope should be safe.
Wet veil = lost veil?
Simple envelopes are also noticed by recipients who have already received a veil. Some of them even claim that they will not wear such a carelessly wrapped face mask.
In the box there is a respirator with an original cover, but the veils are loosely sprinkled into a kind of envelope. This is how healthy material is not distributed. Whose stupid idea it was. Half a croissant and some candy are still missing. Ugh no. I won’t put that on my face. pic.twitter.com/7tbOo0FYHO
– Peter Erbák 📷 (@ErbakPeter) September 16, 2020
The post office also offers larger envelopes with an internal protective foil. It is not certain whether they would help transport from a hygienic point of view, but according to Vitík, the post office did not use them because such envelopes would often not have to fit in mailboxes.
According to Roman Prymula, the government’s commissioner for health research, the mail procedure is not ideal either. “Wrapping drapes in a plain letter envelope is not entirely happy. But I don’t see a real risk factor in that, even if there is potential contamination with coronavirus that won’t survive for 48 hours, and it’s no problem.” Prymula told the iDnes.cz server. In fact, he advised seniors not to use the veils, which they should receive on Friday at the latest, for the first two days.
In addition, they should be careful about the status of packages delivered by mail. According to Prymula, it would be worse if the envelopes got wet along the way, for example when the postmen left them on the doorstep or windowsill. “If a paper envelope is thrown behind a fence, it’s not good because it can easily get wet. All it takes is a shower or water, and the drapes are basically lost. When they are put in covered and dry boxes to keep them from getting wet, it’s not paper packaging such a problem, “added Prymula for iDnes.