Coronavirus: Taiwan poised to become the world’s second-largest mask producer

Coronavirus: Taiwan poised to become the world’s second-largest mask producer

Taiwan projects to produce 10 million masks per day and poised to become the second-largest mask producer in the world, after China.

Taiwanese Government ramped up the production of surgical masks to meet the surging demand for the surgical masks amid the growing concerns over the Wuhan coronavirus.

The country has reported 20 coronavirus cases and one death case so far.

Premier Su Tseng-chang said the nation is set to finish adding 60 mask production lines to its current production capacity by the end of this month or early next month, Taipei Times reported.

“Nine of the production lines would launch today,” Premier Su said during mask inspection at Nonwoven Converting Machinery Co in New Taipei City on 14 February.

He said the period of the equipment’s delivery has been reduced from six months to one month, which resulted from the joint effort of the public and private sectors. The mask prices also capped at only NT$5 per mask.

Meanwhile, President Tsai Ing-wen also went to inspect the production line of alcohol used for disinfection at a distillery in Southern Taiwan on the same day (14 February), Taiwan News reported.

Longtian Distillery, which is owned by Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Corporation (TTL) has collaborated with distilleries in Pingtung, Taichung, Hualien, and Yilan to increase the supply of 75 percent alcohol solution.

The increase of production lines came after Executive Yuan requested the two state-run manufacturers, TTL and Taiwan Sugar Corp (Taisugar) to boost their production lines for 75 percent alcohol, in addition to their existing production lines for 95 percent alcohol, Taipei Times reported.

The nation faced a shortage of surgical masks and alcohol-based sanitizers containing at least 75 percent alcohol due to the coronavirus outbreaks.

Earlier on 24 January, health authorities in Taiwan announced a month-long export ban on surgical and N95 masks as the government banned the sale of the masks to other countries.  

The Ministry of Economic Affairs also assured its citizens that the local mask manufacturers are able to produce a maximum of 2.44 million units per day, Taiwan News reported.

Nevertheless, panic buying still occurred in the country amid fears over the coronavirus outbreaks.

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