Increased mask production, imports help ease supply shortage

By Zhao Juecheng Source:Global Times Published: 2020/2/5 19:18:46

Workers make facial masks at the workshop of a company in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province, Jan. 28, 2020. (Xinhua/Cai Yang)

China has been increasing its face mask production capacity and importing protective gear in an attempt to soften the medical supply shortages since the beginning of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

As of Monday, China has become capable of producing 14.8 million face masks, including 116,000 N95 masks, per day, said Hao Fuqing, a senior official at the National Development and Reform Commission, at a press conference of the Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism of the State Council held in Beijing on Wednesday.

Factories all over China are devoting every effort in expanding production capacity for face masks, Hao said, noting that production capacity has been restored to 67 percent (of the normal volume before the Spring Festival holiday).

Compared with the previous day, the production capacity for N95 masks reached 116,000, up 48 percent, according to Hao.

As of Tuesday, companies around the country sent 219,000 medical protective suits and 233,000 protective goggles to Hubei Province, where the virus is believed to have begun, said Cao Xuejun, a senior official at the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, at the Wednesday press conference.

Cao said the entire process of production and delivery is controllable and traceable, giving assurances that the deliveries can be given out in time. 

Since January 24, China has imported 367 million protective appliances worth 940 million yuan ($134 million), including 328 million face masks, 3.85 million protective suits and 620,000 protective goggles, said Jin Hai, a senior official at the General Administration of Customs, at the press conference.

Moreover, about 23.5 percent of the imported supplies against the epidemic worth 286 million yuan were donated, Jin said.


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