Taiwan residents can donate face masks to other countries

The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC, 中央流行疫情中心) on Monday launched a Face Masks donation campaign. (CNA)

TAIPEI (The China Post/ANN) — The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC, 中央流行疫情中心) on Monday launched a new face masks donation campaign in which Taiwan residents can donate their own quota of face masks to other countries.

This original campaign gives Taiwan nationals an opportunity to lend their hand to other people struggling with the coronavirus pandemic, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) who heads the CECC.

If you are interested in joining this campaign, just follow the instruction below. First, log into the NHI mobile app, click “My Health Bank” and then press “Humanitarian Aid.” Next, click “I agree” and choose whether you want to do an anonymous donation or not.

Only those who don’t use the quota of nine face masks per two weeks can donate their face masks, Chen said. Health authorities will take people’s donations and the national supply into considerations before they try to donate the face masks to other countries, Chen added.

“This is aimed at showing Taiwan’s spirit of humanitarian assistance,” said Chen.

Taiwan has a rationing system in place to supply surgical face masks to the public, allowing each person with an NHI card to buy nine masks every two weeks.

As part of the country’s efforts to stop the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, it has implemented measures that include requiring members of the public to wear face masks when entering a hospital or government building and on public transportation.

People placed in home isolation because of the risk of transmitting COVID-19 are also mandated to wear a mask at all times.

The penalties for violation of the face mask regulations for users of public transport range from NT$3,000 (US$100) to NT$15,000.

According to Chen, however, not everyone has been buying their quota of nine masks per fortnight.

Earlier this month, Taiwan ramped up its surgical face mask production to more than four times its daily output in early February and has since been donating masks to countries hard-hit by the pandemic, including the United States and countries in Europe and Asia, and to its diplomatic allies.