Face mask purchase regulations implemented across China

Source:Globaltimes.cn Published: 2020/2/3 1:05:35

Residents in Shanghai register ID information at their communities on Feb 2 to get purchase permits which allow them to get quotas of 5 low-priced masks at designated pharmacies. Photo: GT

Cities across China introduced policies to regulate face mask sales to alleviate supply shortages amid its fight against the novel coronavirus.

Residents in cities like Nanchang, Hangzhou, and Guangzhou can use a phone app where they can first make an appointment to purchase face masks once they've registered their ID cards and phone numbers. 

According to the new policies, the face masks will be delivered to those who successfully complete their orders online, in aim to reduce public contact and mobility should they buy face masks at a pharmacy. 

In Nanchang, East China's Jiangxi Province, residents can schedule an appointment to buy a face mask from 8 am to 5 pm daily. Registered app users are limited to five face masks per order within a certain number of days under the policy of "first come, first serve," after 50,000 masks were made available on Saturday by officials with the prevention and control of the novel coronavirus, reported Jiangxi Daily. 

Face masks in Nanchang were priced below 1.2 yuan (17 cents). Hangzhou and Guangzhou offer free delivery and face masks to those who successfully place their orders online.

The face mask purchase policy "order online, deliver offline" has been applauded by many who have used the service. 

"The service really addresses our worries of cross-infection in public if we have to go to buy masks at the pharmacy," a Hangzhou resident surnamed Jiang told the Global Times on Sunday, adding that the phone app is very user-friendly. 

Despite delivery convenience, the service is not available in cities such as Xiamen, where residents are first "chosen" through a lottery system before they can purchase a face mask at designated drugstore. Some residents have expressed discontent about the local government's inability to offer delivery services. 

Complaints have also emerged in Shanghai where residents first need to register with a nearby village or community neighborhood committee to obtain a purchase certificate before buying a face mask at a drugstore. 

"Why can't we use an app to save the trouble of wearing a mask and standing in line for one or two hours just to get a purchase certificate?" said a Shanghai netizen on Weibo.  

Posted in: SOCIETY

blog comments powered by Disqus