A woman arranges protective face masks in a factory that produces sterilised surgical equipment and medical clothings, as Egypt ramps up efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Sadat, Egypt, March 15, 2020. Picture taken March 15, 2020. (Photo: Reuters)
Egypt's prosecutor-general has ordered the four-day detention of two citizens pending investigation into charges of manufacturing counterfeit medical facemasks and sanitisers.
According to a statement issued by the prosecutor's office late on Sunday, the workers face charges of running an unlicensed factory to produce medical supplies without permission from the Ministry of Health as well as possessing sub-standard medical products.
An arrest warrant has been issued for the factory's owner.
The prosecution also ordered the factory be closed and to form a committee from the Ministry of Health to examine the confiscated items.
Mask prices in Egypt have skyrocketed since the coronavirus first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan last December.
Egypt has allocated EGP 1 billion ($63.69 million) to the health ministry to help it provide preventative medical supplies needed to help curb the spread of the pandemic.
The virus has so far infected 1,173 people in Egypt and killed 78.