The Ministry of Trade (Kemendag) ensures that it will oversee cloth masks that are sold in the market. This was after the government established the Indonesian National Standard (SNI) for cloth masks in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cloth masks must comply with SNI, the Ministry of Trade will supervise their distribution
The Ministry of Trade's Director General of Consumer Protection and Orderly Commerce (PKTN), Veri Anggrijono, said that all related parties must pay attention to the SNI. He ensured that the Ministry of Trade would monitor him when the SNI masks had been implemented.
Even so, Veri said that currently there has not been any action or sanctions imposed on violators. The sanctions are still in the process of being finalized and waiting for the official enforcement of SNI.
Government Sets SNI for Cloth Masks
The government finally set the SNI or Indonesian National Standard for cloth masks, after a five-month formulation process.
With the existence of this SNI for cloth masks, polemics about the appropriateness of masks such as scuba or buff types should no longer occur.
The Minister of Industry or Minister of Industry, Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita, said that the SNI for cloth masks was formulated to maintain quality and optimally protect the public from the transmission of the COVID-19 outbreak, considering that cloth masks are now an alternative amid the limitations of medical masks.
The SNI number for cloth masks is 8914: 2020 for the category of Textiles - Masks made of cloth, stipulated by Decree of the Head of BSN Number 408 / KEP / BSN / 9/2020.
The characteristics of fabric mask products that comply with SNI
The Ministry of Industry provides easy guidance for the community, to identify cloth masks that meet SNI standards. The Director General of Chemical, Pharmaceutical and Textile Industries of the Ministry of Industry, Muhammad Khayam, explained that cloth masks that can be submitted to obtain SNI certification must meet a number of requirements.
"Among them must have at least two layers of fabric. The most effective combination of materials used is fabric from natural fibers such as cotton, plus two layers of chiffon fabric containing polyester-spandex which can filter 80-99 percent of particles, depending on the particle size," said the Director General of the Chemical, Pharmaceutical and Textile Industry of the Ministry of Industry, Muhammad Khayam.
What consumers must remember is that masks with such specifications meet the standards. But not necessarily having an SNI certificate or having undergone a testing process. To obtain an SNI certificate, producers must submit a test to the National Standardization Body (BSN).
In addition to the materials and specifications, in order to obtain SNI for a cloth mask product, its effectiveness must be tested in filtering bacteria or other particles. For cloth masks that have obtained SNI, they must also be resistant to color fastness to washing, acid and alkaline sweat, and saliva (saliva).
Use Zone Dependent Cloth Masks, SNI Masks Are Used in the Corona Red Zone
The head of the COVID-19 Task Force, Doni Monardo, explained the reason for the government to implement the Indonesian national standard cloth masks (SNI) standardization. Doni said, SNI mask standardization was needed for people living in the red zone for the spread of the corona virus.
Doni emphasized that basically all types of masks are beneficial to wear. However, Doni assessed that the use of masks must also be adapted to the situation and environmental conditions.