DIT securing another 400,000 face masks

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A woman wears a protective mask on a public bus in Bangkok, Monday, Jan. 14. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

Bangkok – The Department of Internal Trade (DIT) has begun coordinating with face mask producers and importers to increase the supply of N95 type masks for those contending with the smog problem in Bangkok and its vicinity.

The DIT is now selling carbon face masks at 5 baht per mask. It has acquired 10,000 masks and made them available at the Ministry of Commerce. It is coordinating with over 10 producers and importers to acquire another 400,000 masks within the week while warning that any sellers taking advantage of the situation will face fines and even prison time.

The Royal Thai Air Force’s Medical Department is now working with Chatuchak district officials to advise members of the public on how to care for themselves while levels of PM 2.5 remain high. It has been made known that while carbon face masks are not as efficient as N95 masks, they still provide some relief in the circumstances. Users are urged to not touch the middle of the masks and to discard them after use.

The Ministry of Public Health has urged citizens not to panic over the low supply of N95 masks, giving an assurance that other masks can be used, especially if they are bolstered with two tissue squares. It also noted that proper usage of N95 face masks is needed to ensure their effectiveness.
Director-General of the Department of Health Dr. Panpimol Wipulakorn said that members of the public should closely follow updates, especially those particularly at-risk. The department is to carry out information dissemination activities across affected areas.