CORONAVIRUS/Face mask supplies sufficient amid domestic COVID-19 spread concerns
Taipei, May 11 (CNA) Inventories of surgical face masks in Taiwan remain sufficient to meet demand at a time when the country is seeing rising concerns over an increase in domestically transmitted COVID-19 cases, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) said Tuesday.
On its Facebook page, the MOEA said the current face mask inventory tops 800 million units, with daily production hitting 18.30 million units on average and a maximum daily capacity of 40 million units.
Judging from the figures, the MOEA said, Taiwan has sufficient supplies to cope with the rising number of indigenous COVID-19 cases.
The MOEA's assurance came after Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said earlier in the day that Taiwan has entered a community COVID-19 transmission stage after seven new domestic cases were reported, six of which were from unknown sources.
The six cases with unclear sources, including a woman in her 30s who works at an arcade in Yilan County, were not related to cluster infections involving China Airlines (CAL) and the Novotel airport hotel, which is owned by CAL, according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).
The MOEA urged the public to wear a face mask and wash their hands as much as possible, as the CECC continues to tighten its measures to control the spread of the disease, including a ban on large gatherings until June 8, with face masks mandatory when people attend gatherings, as well as providing their real identifications.
In addition to face masks, the MOEA said supplies of sanitizing alcohol as remain sufficient, as daily production has hit more than 40,000 bottles in Taiwan, while supplies of isolation gowns and protective gowns also surpass local demand.
The MOEA emphasized that Taiwan has enough personal protective equipment (PPE) against COVID-19 and urged the public stay calm.
Currently, a face mask rationing program remains effective, with the country providing 10 masks every two weeks to everyone who holds a valid national health insurance card.
To date, Taiwan has recorded 1,210 cases of COVID-19, 1,052 of which have been classified as imported. Of the total, 1,093 have recovered, 12 have died and 105 are receiving hospital treatment, according to CECC statistics.
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