About 3,000 Chunghwa Post workers would deliver surgical masks that are to be sold at more than 6,000 locations nationwide starting today, the company said yesterday.
The firm’s workers yesterday began picking up masks from 24 factories in 10 cities and counties and packaged them at various post offices for delivery.
Chunghwa Post has about 7,000 delivery workers on duty each day, Department of Mail Business and Operations head Chen Ching-hsiang (陳敬祥) said.
Photo: Peter Lo, Taipei Times
The Ministry of Health and Welfare has provided a list of 6,515 partner pharmacies and 52 health centers in remote areas to which deliveries are to be made, Chen said.
Each location is to receive 200 masks for adults and 50 masks for children per day, he said.
About 1.6 million to 1.7 million masks would be delivered every day, he added.
Deliveries would be made daily, Chen said, adding that the workload of the company’s employees would be increased and their leaves adjusted.
The Ministry of Labor has informed the Ministry of Transportation and Communications that the policy of giving workers one mandatory day off for every seven days of work might be adjusted for epidemic prevention work, although they cannot be asked to work more than 12 hours per day, Chunghwa Post said.
The company would try to have the adjusted policy apply to its workers delivering the masks, Chen said, adding that although it will be hard work for the employees, they would work hard to cooperate with prevention efforts.
It is facing tight supplies of masks for frontline employees at its post offices, he said, adding that it would work to ensure that they have enough.
While the company is delivering masks to pharmacies and health centers to be sold to the public, it is not responsible for deliveries of masks to medical institutions, he added.
Separately yesterday, asked whether visiting foreigners would be allowed to buy masks, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said that visitors have not been advised to wear masks, as there is no outbreak of the 2019 novel coronavirus in Taiwan.
The confirmed local cases are mostly people who were infected overseas before returning to Taiwan and the only two indigenous cases are people who were infected by other members of their household, said Chen, who is also head of the Central Epidemic Command Center.
“Therefore, the center does not recommend foreign nationals traveling in Taiwan wear masks, but they can prepare masks and bring them on their own if they are concerned,” Chen said.
As most foreign nationals working in Taiwan are covered by the National Health Insurance (NHI) program, they are eligible to purchase masks at pharmacies with their NHI card, he said.
NHI Administration Director-General Lee Po-chang (李伯璋) said that foreigners residing in Taiwan who have not acquired an NHI card would be allowed to purchase masks at pharmacies with their Alien Resident Certificate or entry-and-exit permit.
The measures would be the same as NHI cardholders: each person can purchase up to two masks every seven days, with people whose residence permits end with an even number allowed to buy on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, while those whose permits end with an odd number allowed to buy on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, he said.
Everyone can buy masks on Sundays, he added.
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