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Name-based rationing system for purchases of face masks launched today; the services provide by professional pharmacists

【Update Date:2020-02-06unit:企劃及科技管理組

In order to curb panic buying and the hoarding of face masks, the Name-based rationing system for face masks is implemented on February 6, 2020. Citizens would be able to purchase face masks with their National Health Insurance (NHI) cards at NHI-contracted pharmacies through virtual private network (VPN). This allows resources to be more fairly distributed to everyone.

The NHI-contracted pharmacies provide the service of mask purchasing in daily specific time during the epidemic prevention period. To avert crowds, people whose ID card numbers end with an odd number will be allowed to buy face masks on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, while those with ID card numbers end with an even number will be allowed to buy masks on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Everyone makes purchases on Sundays. Face masks for children can only be purchased by those aged 12 and under. Children buy adult face masks according to actual needs. Pharmacies selling named-based face masks are exempt from business tax and receipt. Each pharmacy will give out face masks at different sale times of a day and therefore, people could inquire about the sale information in advanced.

Taiwan Food and Drug Administration of the Ministry of Health and Welfare emphasized that domestic experts have reiterated three appropriate situations where people should put on face masks: when visiting hospitals, accompanying patients and visiting patients; when people are sick with symptoms of respiratory infections; and when people with chronic diseases go outside. The healthy public and students don’t need to wear face masks. It is advised that face masks shall be prioritized for the people in great need of masks in order to maximize the efficacy of resources.