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.
A Keelung high school on Saturday night apologized for using a picture containing a Chinese flag on the cover of the senior yearbook, adding that it has recalled the books and pledged to provide students new ones before graduation on Thursday. Of 309 Affiliated Keelung Maritime Senior High School of National Taiwan Ocean University graduates, 248 had purchased the yearbook. Some students said that the printer committed an outrageous error in including the picture, while others said that nobody would notice such a small flag on the cover. Other students said that they cared more about the photographs of classmates and what was
GOING INTERNATIONAL: Rakuten Girls squad leader Ula Shen said she was surprised that baseball fans outside of Taiwan not only knew of them, but also knew their names Major League Baseball’s (MLB) Oakland Athletics on Saturday hosted its first Taiwanese Heritage Day event at the Oakland Coliseum with a performance by Taiwanese cheerleading squad the Rakuten Girls and a video message from Vice President William Lai (賴清德). The Rakuten Girls, who are the cheerleaders for the CPBL’s Rakuten Monkeys, performed in front of a crowd of more than 2,000 people, followed by a prerecorded address by Lai about Taiwan’s baseball culture and democratic spirit. Taiwanese pitcher Sha Tzu-chen (沙子宸), who was signed by the Athletics earlier this year, was also present. Mizuki Lin (林襄), considered a “baseball cheerleading goddess” by Taiwanese
A 14-legged giant isopod is the highlight of a new dish at a ramen restaurant in Taipei and it has people lining up — both for pictures and for a bite from this bowl of noodles. Since “The Ramen Boy” launched the limited-edition noodle bowl on Monday last week, declaring in a social media post that it had “finally got this dream ingredient,” more than 100 people have joined a waiting list to dine at the restaurant. “It is so attractive because of its appearance — it looks very cute,” said the 37-year-old owner of the restaurant, who wanted to be
A promotional event for the launch of a drinks store led to police questioning a 26-year-old woman surnamed Chang (張), the Taichung Police Department said yesterday. Police said that they questioned Chang and forwarded the case to prosecutors, accusing her of producing, distributing, broadcasting or selling pornography. Police said she faces charges related to the alleged distribution of indecent photographs on Twitter and using overtly sexual innuendos to promote the store on Monday night. Officers stumbled upon the content during a routine Internet “patrol.” Chang faces a prison sentence of up to two years and up to a NT$90,000 fine if found guilty