TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan is expected to manufacture up to 19 million surgical masks a day by mid-May as demand for the protective gear remains high amid the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
At a radio show on Tuesday (April 28), Minister of Economic Affairs (MOEA) Shen Jong-Chin (沈榮津) said the government would secure 22 additional mask production lines to reach the target production, reported CNA. Currently, Taiwan boasts an impressive capacity of 17 million masks a day.
This achievement can be attributed to the efforts of the “national mask team,” a task force assembled to ramp up production of face masks. Taiwan managed to put in place 92 production lines in just 40 days thanks to effective collaboration between the public and private sectors.
According to MOEA, Taiwan has a daily availability of 19 tons of melt-blown, non-woven fabric—the main material of surgical masks—which allows the production of 20 million masks a day. Prices of the fabric overseas have spiked ten-fold since the pandemic outbreak, reported Liberty Times.
To underscore the role of Taiwan in combating the health crisis, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Monday (April 27) introduced a new measure encouraging Taiwanese citizens to donate their share of face masks to countries in need via the same mobile application used to pre-order them. Around 120,000 people have accessed the service as of Monday, said the CECC.
Taiwan has already delivered millions of masks as donations to countries around the world hit hard by the coronavirus.