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Taiwan to supply more, cheaper masks in 2021

Price will drop to NT$4 per mask on Jan. 1 as long as packaging equipment ready

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NT$40 for 10 masks per two weeks will be the norm in 2021. 

NT$40 for 10 masks per two weeks will be the norm in 2021.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Beginning Jan. 1, Taiwan residents will be able to buy 10 face masks every two weeks instead of the current nine, and the price will be cut by NT$1 to NT$4 (US$0.14) per mask, officials said Saturday (Nov. 21).

Due to Taiwan’s success fighting the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, access to masks has become less of a problem. In the spring, residents had to wait in long lines outside pharmacies to obtain a limited number of masks.

However, as the number of new infections dwindled and manufacturers ramped up production, the supply has stabilized. The country has built up a reserve of more than 600 million masks, CNA reported, with its factories turning out 35 million per day.

In 2021, manufacturers will introduce uniform packaging before supplying pharmacies with new masks. Preparations for the necessary packaging machinery are the only factor that could result in the mask deliveries being postponed beyond Jan. 1.

The new limit and price will also apply to children’s masks. How long centralized distribution goes on depends on the course of the pandemic and the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).