Taiwan's online mask rationing adds new pick-up locations

PX Mart and Simple Mart join 4 other convenience store chains as mask distribution points

Surgical masks produced in Taiwan.

Surgical masks produced in Taiwan. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The fourth round of Taiwan's online mask rationing system starts Wednesday (April 8) as citizens are now able to pick up their orders at PX Mart (全聯) and Simple Mart (美康社) in addition to already participating convenience store chains.

During the daily updates on Taiwan's coronavirus cases Wednesday, Health Minister and Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) chief Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) pointed out that Taiwanese can start placing pre-orders for surgical masks between 8 a.m. April 8 and 8 p.m. April 10 on the eMask Ordering System. He reminded that individuals would need to register their National Health Insurance card number on the website to complete their orders.

Besides Family Mart (全家), 7-Eleven, OK Mart, and Hi-Life (萊爾富), which have already been designated as distribution points, Chen announced that PX Mart and Simple Mart would also join the program. He said the addition of the two supermarket chains would definitely help distribute the masks more efficiently and he encouraged citizens to take advantage of the new pick-up locations, reported Liberty Times.

According to Chen, nine masks cost NT$52 (US$1.70), including a NT$7 shipping fee. Those who pay between 8 a.m. April 11 and 8 p.m. April 13 will see their masks delivered to locations of their choice between April 16 and 29.

In response to the additional distribution points, many Taiwanese internet users have praised the CECC for its upgraded mask rationing plan. One user remarked that "Taiwan has the most thoughtful government in the world" while another exclaimed "Biggest thank you to Taiwan and its health department," according to HiNet.