Taiwan targets 4.6 million masks a day in two weeks

Taipei (CNA) Taiwan currently produces 3.2 million surgical face masks a day, but is hoping to boost that to 4.6 million within two weeks as new equipment is installed at production facilities across the nation, Economic Affairs Minister Shen Jong chin (???) said Thursday.

Coupled with assistance from members of the armed forces, that figure is certainly attainable, Shen explained.

In order to meet surging demand as people try to combat the spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019 nCoV), the central government last Sunday tasked the military with helping to increase the nation's face mask production.

The daily capacity this week currently stands at 3.2 million, the economic minister said, noting that the amount will be raised to total daily output of 3.9 million next week and 4.6 million after that.

According to the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), the Cabinet last Friday approved a plan to build 60 production lines to produce an additional 6 million surgical masks a day to meet demand.

Based on projected capacity of 4.6 million masks a day, that would eventually bring total production to over 10 million surgical masks a day, hopefully to be achieved by early March, Shen explained.

Also Thursday, Vice Economics Minister Wang Mei hua (???) told reporters that since the Wuhan outbreak in January, the ministry has asked Taiwan's representative offices overseas to buy as many surgical face masks as possible in their respective locations to help meet the supply shortage in the country.

However, due to restrictions in various countries, so far only about 100,000 masks have been bought, which is a drop in the ocean of Taiwan's daily needs, Wang said.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel