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S. Korea speeds up supply of filters to boost mask production

All News 09:30 April 03, 2020

SEOUL, April 3 (Yonhap) -- South Korea said Friday it will supply around 10 tons of filters to mask producers to boost production of protective masks, which are in short supply due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The filters, which will be enough to make at least 7 million protective masks, will be sent to 14 local mask producers, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

South Korea has imported 4.5 tons of filters, while another 5.7 tons have been produced by Toray Advanced Materials Korea Inc., an affiliate of Japanese chemical giant Toray Industries Inc., which recently renovated its facilities used to make diaper materials to produce filters instead.

S. Korea speeds up supply of filters to boost mask production - 1

South Korea said earlier this month it plans to import at least 93 tons of mask filters through June to keep up the supply of the items. It supplied the first batch of 2.5 tons last week.

The local daily production of protective masks reached nearly 12 million as of the third week of March, soaring from the average of 3 million posted for the whole of 2019.

South Korea adopted a rationing system for protective masks last month, under which people can purchase two face masks per week from pharmacies on designated days of the week, depending on their year of birth.

Seoul has imposed a full export ban on masks to meet soaring demand since February.


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