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Homeland Security

Over 30,000 surgical masks seized in outbound postal packages

ROC Central News Agency

01/31/2020 08:22 PM

Taipei, Jan. 31 (CNA) More than 30,000 surgical face masks found in 123 postal packages bound for overseas have been seized by authorities in a single day, the Aviation Police Bureau said Friday.

The seizures were carried out Thursday at Chunghwa Post's mail processing center in Taipei, during which a total of 33,225 masks were confiscated as part of the government's efforts to prevent surgical masks from being sent abroad as cases of the novel coronavirus continue to increase.

In order to ensure that supply meets domestic needs, the aviation police said members of the public are prohibited from sending surgical masks overseas, unless special prior authorization is issued by the Ministry of Economic Affairs' (MOEA's) Bureau of Foreign Trade.

To address the surging risk of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), the MOEA on Jan. 23 placed a temporary ban on the export of textile-based masks and those for surgical use that exceed 94 percent filtration efficiency, with the restriction effective from Jan. 24 and Feb. 23.

The rule also applies to the sending of masks overseas by individuals.

The viral disease, which originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December, has so far affected almost 10,000 people and killed more than 200 in China.

(By Chiu Chun-chin and Ko Lin)


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