Official says Thailand can handle rise in demand for face masks

PHOTO: Mika Baumeister on Unsplash

The director-general of the Internal Trade Department says there will be sufficient face masks to meet a spike in demand as a result of the outbreak in Samut Sakhon. Wattanasak Sur-iam says he’s asked manufacturers to step up production from a current combined capacity of 5 million masks a day. He adds that the retail price of surgical masks will remain at 2.50 baht per item. At the beginning of the outbreak earlier this year, Lazada was forced to launch an investigation after the Commerce Ministry filed a complaint against the online retailer for allowing masks to be sold at inflated prices.

Meanwhile, yesterday’s figures from the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration confirmed 382 new cases of Covid-19, 360 of which were in migrant workers. The outbreak has spread beyond Samut Sakhon, with 14 cases spread across the other central provinces of Ayutthaya, Nakhon Pathom, Samut Prakan and Bangkok, as well as the northern province of Tak. The other 8 cases were detected in 7 Thais and 1 foreigner in state quarantine.

UPDATE: As of this evening, the number of Covid-19 cases linked to the “Samut Sakhon cluster” surpassed 1,000. The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration also reported 427 new Covid-19 cases. 397 of the new cases are migrant workers while 14 of the new cases were detected in quarantine.

Samut Sakhon is currently in a 14-day lockdown. The PM says the picture should be clearer in about 7 days, at which point officials will decide if further restrictions, including a potential nationwide lockdown, need to be introduced.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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