Many hospitals in Thailand still waiting for masks

Jurin Laksanawisit.
PHOTO: The Nation/Asia News Network

Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit wants to know why many hospitals have not yet received fresh supplies of protective face-masks.

He said on Wednesday (March 4) he'd asked the Public Health Ministry, Food and Drug Administration and Government Pharmaceutical Organisation to review distribution with the Department of Internal Trade to make sure all hospitals are adequately supplied.

Medical personnel are playing a crucial role in checking the spread of the Covid-19 virus and are at far greater risk than anyone else of being infected, Jurin stressed, even if public demand for the masks cannot be neglected.

With 11 factories working full out to produce 1.2 million masks a day, the Commerce Ministry will on Thursday have 20 vans selling them in busy areas of Bangkok for Bt2.5 (S$0.10) each, he announced.

"The ministry has ordered all 11 factories to operate 24 hours a day for the next week," he added.

In rural areas, the Department of Local Administration is responsible for producing 150 million masks a day and distributing them to the public, he said.

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