Mask production in Taiwan is expected to nearly triple by the end of this month to meet demand generated by COVID-19, a manufacturer said on Friday.
Government recruitment has increased the number of mask manufacturers, with daily production expected to increase from 3.2 million masks per day when COVID-19 was revealed at the end of last year to 10 million masks per day by the end of this month, Changhua County-based medical products manufacturer Motex Healthcare Corp said.
“Manufacturers are working with the government to contain COVID-19, but once its spread slows, the demand for masks will slow, too, and there will be cut-throat competition,” Motex spokesperson Hsu Chih-yuan (徐誌遠) said.
Photo: Chen Kuan-pei, Taipei Times
Motex, like other companies, is raising production at the government’s request, he said, adding that it has 11 machines producing 300,000 masks per day and plans to add three more machines.
It would not normally raise production to meet short-term demand, but the masks are easy to produce and only NT$3 apiece, he said.
People have the misconception that companies are cashing in on the outbreak, but there is little money to be made, as the government is controlling everything in the manufacturing process, he said.
People only have a few options when buying a mask — such as surgical masks, dust masks, industrial masks and respirators — but masks are likely to become more comfortable, closer fitting and more effective, Hsu added.
Companies such as Motex keep production local, because they recognize the importance of having a local source for something as important as masks, he said.
Taiwan is a nation of innovators, but lacks resources, he said, adding that once the COVID-19 outbreak passes, manufacturers can produce quality masks for China, where the market is bigger and the resources greater.
Hsu praised the government’s vigorous response to COVID-19, saying that NT$200 million (US$6.7 million) was invested into mask production, administrative procedures were expedited and military personnel were offered as additional labor for mask production.
“The government is also working with manufacturers to ensure an uninterrupted supply of non-woven fabric,” he said.
CAMBODIAN CON: The two men filmed videos with made-up content with a focus on purported human trafficking, beatings and sexual assaults by scammers Cambodian authorities yesterday sentenced two Taiwanese to two years in prison and a NT$30,000 fine each for staging a kidnapping in the southern coastal city of Sihanoukville which they live streamed online. Chen Neng-chuan (陳能釧), 31, and Lu Tsu-hsien (魯祖顯), 34, were convicted of inciting and causing social disorder a day after Cambodian police officials convened a news conference about their arrest. Chen, who goes by the online name “Goodnight Chicken” (晚安小雞), and Lu, known by the handle “Anow” (阿鬧), must each pay 4 million riels (US$982), according to a court filing. The court said the duo arrived in the Cambodian capital, Phnom
TAKE PRECAUTIONS: Never hike alone and prepare food, water and appropriate equipment for Taiwan’s mountains, particularly in the winter, officials said Two mountain hikers were rescued yesterday, a day after a body was airlifted out of Yushan National Park, one of several deaths related to mountaineering or hiking in the past two weeks, the Ministry of the Interior said yesterday. A Nantou County mountain rescue team called for a helicopter while responding to a call yesterday morning. They said a woman surnamed Chen (陳), 31, and a man surnamed Lin (林), 32, got lost in the mountains around the Batongguan Historic Trail (八通關古道), while traveling west toward Dongpu Township (東埔). They were directed to a nearby alpine meadow, where the helicopter landed with four
‘CORRECT CALL’: The navy said the captain was right to send crew out to fix an issue with a buoy, and that the buckles connecting two of them to the safety line came loose Equipment and environmental reasons, not human error, were to blame for the loss of three submariners on Dec. 21 last year, the navy said yesterday. The navy would not punish any of the Hai Hu’s (海虎) crew after an investigation determined that the captain was correct in sending crew to retrieve a safety buoy, it said in a news release. Three crew members — a master chief petty officer surnamed Lin (林) and two petty officers surnamed Yen (顏) and Chang (張) — are still unaccounted for after being swept from the submarine’s deck by a wave while trying to retrieve the
Individual tourists who arrive in Taiwan from tomorrow are eligible to receive limited-edition lucky bags to mark the Lantern Festival, Tourism Administration officials said yesterday. The Lantern Festival-themed lucky bags each contain a Year of the Dragon red envelope, a mini lantern, a NT$300 coupon for an amusement park ticket and a NT$500 Taiwan PASS coupon, the officials said. To get a lucky bag, visitors must present a passport or residence certificate and proof of their date of entry at a tourism center at either terminal at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) or Kaohsiung International Airport, they said. The