Taiwan is ramping up production of surgical masks using newly acquired equipment with a goal of 10 million per day by next week as domestic demand surges amid the COVID-19 epidemic, Minister of Economic Affairs Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津) said yesterday.
With delivery of the machines, 60 new production lines have been opened at manufacturing plants across Taiwan, although some of the equipment still needs fine tuning, Shen said.
Taiwan’s daily output of masks is expected to reach 9.2 million on average this week and when the production lines reach full capacity next week, it will be 10 million per day, he said.
Photo: Cheng Shu-ting, Taipei Times
On Thursday last week, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said that NT$90 million (US$2.99 million) would be spent to set up another 32 production lines to help meet demand.
The equipment for those 32 lines is expected to be delivered by the end of this month, Chen said.
Taiwan has enough raw materials to produce up to 15 million masks per day until the end of June, the ministry said.
Meanwhile, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday visited a Yi Ting Non-Woven Co mask manufacturing plant in Taoyuan and thanked everyone involved in the efforts to contain COVID-19.
The company is one of several contracted by the government to help ramp up mask production.
The factory has four machines churning out roughly 400,000 masks per day, Yi Ting said.
Its daily output is expected to rise to 600,000 when it adds two more machines to its production lines, the company said.
921 EARTHQUAKE: The magnitude 7.3 quake left 2,456 people dead and 10,718 injured, while 53,661 houses were fully destroyed and 53,024 houses damaged The Central Weather Bureau yesterday received about 50,000 views on Facebook after it posted the data that it collected on Sept. 21, 1999, when the nation was devastated by a magnitude 7.3 earthquake. The data showed that the 921 Earthquake hit the nation at 1:47am, with the epicenter being 7km southwest of the bureau’s quake detection center in Nantou County’s Yuchi Township (魚池) at a depth of 8km. The quake left 2,456 people dead and 10,718 injured, while 53,661 houses were fully destroyed and 53,024 houses damaged, with the cost of the damage estimated at NT$300 billion (US$10.8 billion at the current
British newspaper The Mail on Sunday reported that Prince Charles met with Bruno Wang (汪家興), a Taiwanese fugitive who describes himself as a Chinese philanthropist and donated ￡500,000 (US$683,522) to the prince’s charity, the Prince’s Foundation. The newspaper reported that Wang is wanted in Taiwan on charges related to money laundering and being a fugitive from justice, allegations he denies, and drew comparisons between Wang and the Russian banker Dmitry Leus. Investigation and cooperation with foreign authorities have found that Bruno Wang’s father, Andrew Wang (汪傳浦), had stashed proceeds from a scandal involving the procurement of Lafayette frigates in 61 bank accounts,
AT ODDS: The KMT called on the government to seek bilateral dialogue with Beijing to resolve the issue that led to the ban on custard apple and wax apple imports Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) officials and lawmakers yesterday condemned China’s sudden ban on imports of custard apples and wax apples from Taiwan as “obvious political retaliation,” while the opposition called for a scientific investigation into Beijing’s claim to have found pests in imports of the fruits. China earlier yesterday announced a ban on the importation of the two fruits from today, citing repeated discoveries of Planococcus minor, a type of mealybug. The announcement follows a similar ban on Taiwanese pineapples imposed in February. At least Beijing gave a few days’ notice when it banned pineapple imports, an unnamed government official said yesterday. This time
BY OTHER MEANS: China could see CPTPP membership as a means of circumventing trade restrictions imposed by the US, amid an ongoing trade dispute between them The US could invoke a clause in its trade agreement with Canada and Mexico to block China’s application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a government official said yesterday. Under Article 32.10 of the Exceptions and General Provisions of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), if either Canada or Mexico enter a free-trade agreement with a nonmarket economy — such as China — the US could withdraw from the agreement. “If that clause applies to multilateral free-trade agreements such as the CPTPP — which Mexico and Canada are members of — that might be cause for the two