THAILAND – The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation has resulted in heightened awareness of personal health and led to a shortage of protective masks in the market.
One pharmacy in Khon Kaen province has reported that it receives many requests for masks from customers but has been unable to supply them for over a month now, as only N95 masks designed to filter particulate matter of 2.5 microns or less in diameter (PM2.5) remain. Some customers say they went to four different pharmacies looking for appropriate masks.
Another pharmacist pointed out that wariness of COVID-19 has resulted in the high demand for medical masks, which has even deterred factories from promising orders and shipments. One pharmacy has switched to carbon masks, which are chosen as an alternative by some customers, when fabric masks are not available.
Public health volunteers from 26 districts of Ubon Ratchathani province were given training on how to effectively use fabric face masks, and have been tasked with passing on the information to local communities. The training included how to sew a fabric mask for personal use and how to wash them for re-use. Volunteers also gained knowledge on other preventative measures against respiratory illness and were told to remember the need to
“Eat Hot, Use Serving Spoons and Wash Hands”.