People should not waste masks even with the purchasing quotas increasing this week, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, adding that sterilization with a rice cooker is a good way to extend supplies.
Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that from Thursday, people can buy nine masks per 14 days, which should be sufficient.
“However, I have to urge everyone to use masks economically,” Chen said, adding that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released information on how masks can be reused.
Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times
FDA Director-General Wu Shou-mei (吳秀梅) said that masks can be put in a metal container on a metal rack in a rice cooker without water to dry for three minutes with the power on and another five minutes with no power.
“We have to remind people about one critical point: Do not add water, as steam can damage the mask’s structure, just as using alcohol to disinfect masks can also affect their structure,” Wu said, adding that the method has been tested by academics and the FDA.
People can dry masks in this manner three to five times and their effectiveness would remain at about 99 percent, she said.
“However, we do not suggest using this method if the mask is stained or broken,” she said. “We also suggest that people with respiratory symptoms, chronic diseases or who have visited a hospital dispose of masks after a single use.”
Chung Shan Medical University Department of Occupational Safety and Health associate professor Lai Chane-yu (賴全裕) said that the inner wall of rice cookers can reach 165°C and the temperature inside the cooker about 110°C, which kills all bacteria and viruses, so there is no need to use a separate cooker to disinfect masks.
Masks that are to be used again should be kept in a dry, ventilated place or in a paper bag, not in plastic bags, which can promote bacterial growth, Lai said.
AGGRESSION: China’s latest intrusions set a new benchmark for its ‘gray zone’ tactics and possibly a new pattern that it would attempt to normalize, a researcher said China’s latest military exercises represent a new challenge to Taiwan’s legal authority to demarcate its borders in the Taiwan Strait, a defense expert said, adding that the fleets in the latest exercises were likely the most powerful the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) ever assembled. The PLA conducted military exercises from Sunday last week to 6am on Friday, which encompassed large swathes of the western Pacific, including the Taiwan Strait and waters off the Philippines and Guam, National Policy Foundation associate research fellow Chieh Chung (揭仲) said on Friday. The Ministry of National Defense said that it detected 70 warship and 162 aircraft
DOMESTIC MARKET: To protect the livelihoods of local egg farmers, the government adopted a new method for releasing imported eggs, the agriculture minister said More than 54 million imported eggs will be disposed, as their expiration date has passed, Minister of Agriculture Chen Chi-chung (陳吉仲) said yesterday. Chen made the remarks at a news conference in Taipei, explaining the flow of imported eggs following recent controversies regarding the products. The ministry introduced a special egg import program to address a nationwide egg shortage earlier this year. However, controversies have risen in recent weeks. These included an accusation that the government helped some egg importing companies over others, eggs imported from Brazil that had an incorrect expiration date, and egg shipments from Brazil that were found
PACIFIC OCEAN: Defense experts have warned that the ‘Shandong,’ China’s second largest aircraft carrier, poses a serious threat to eastern Taiwan’s defenses The drills conducted by the Chinese aircraft carrier Shandong in the Western Pacific last week were more aimed at showcasing China’s military capabilities to the US rather than toward Taiwan, a Taiwanese defense expert said yesterday. Lin Yin-yu (林穎佑), an assistant professor at Tamkang University’s Graduate Institute of International Affairs and Strategic Studies, said the drills which involved dozens of warplanes sought to test China’s anti-access and area denial capabilities should the US and its allies attempt to interfere in a cross-strait conflict. Lin said that the latest Chinese drills coincided with a joint maritime exercise conducted by the US, South Korea
Thousands of bottles of Sriracha have been returned or destroyed after the discovery of excessive sulfur dioxide, a bleaching agent, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on Tuesday. About 12,600 bottles totaling 9,991.8kg of the hot sauce imported from the US by Emporium Corp (河洛企業) were flagged at the border for containing illegal levels of sulfur dioxide, the FDA said in its regular border inspection announcement. Inspectors discovered 0.5g per kilogram of the common bleaching agent and preservative, higher than the 0.03g permitted, it said. As it is the first time within six months the product has been flagged, Sriracha products from