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No chance of facemask shortage, minister says

There is an ample supply of protective facemasks for everyone while the coronavirus threat persists – and even if it worsens and demand rises – Deputy Minister and Minister of Commerce Jurin Laksanawisit said this week after visiting the Thai Hospital Products factory, one of several places making them.

“Ten large factories in Thailand can together produce 100 million masks a month,” he said. “Domestic demand is usually 30 million, but we would have no problem even if that rose to 40 million or 50 million.”

There is also a stockpile of 200 million masks that alone would meet demand for four or five months, Jurin said.

“I don’t want to see people buying masks in bulk, though, because that would just deplete the stocks.”

The ministry was carefully monitoring production and shares a “war room” with the Department of Internal Trade that works with the 10 mask factories, distributors and retailers, he said.

Thailand is even prepared to respond to a request from Chinese officials to export masks there, Jurin said.

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