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Four factories to start producing masks in Myanmar

Four factories in Yangon and Bago regions will begin producing face masks after the Thingyan holidays amid soaring local demand for masks due to the outbreak of coronavirus, officials say.

At present there are no factories primarily focused on producing the masks in Myanmar, so to two factories in Yangon Region and two in Bago Region are being prepared to produce masks following instructions from the Ministry of Health and Sports and Yangon Region government.

U Soe Htet, secretary of the Industrial Supervisory Committee of Bago Region said the effort was discussed with Cobes Industries Myanmar Bago Co, the local subsidiary of Hong Kong-based Cobes Industries, a producer of personal protective equipment (PPE).

The government had signed a deal to purchase 100,000 pieces of PPE from Cobes and South Korea’s KM Healthcare Factory in Bago Region, last week.

“We’ve already instructed the factories to make masks and I think they should be able to start after the Thingyan holiday. The aim is to fill local demand for masks, which are important items to counteract the COVID-19 outbreak in Myanmar,” U Soe Htet said.

Meanwhile, talks are being conducted with one Japanese and one South Korean factory in the Shwe Lin Pan Industrial Zone near Yangon about also contributing to the effort, said U Aye Thaung, chair of the Shwe Lin Pan Industrial Zone.

“The Japanese-owned factory produces car cleaning fabrics in Myanmar and has machinery capable of producing masks. The South Korean garment factory also similar machinery. However, disruptions in the supply chain for raw materials from China are hampering their ability to make makes. We are speaking with them to see what can be done to overcome this,” said U Aye Thaung.

Currently, the price of face masks have skyrocketed to between K800 and K1,000 per piece compared with K100 to K150, before the first cases of COVID-19 were found in Myanmar on March 23. – Translated

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Source : Myanmar Times

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