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Global Times

Xiamen launches lottery system for mask purchases

Global Times

Source:Global Times Published: 2020/2/1 11:06:51

The local government of Xiamen in East China's Fujian Province has launched a lottery system for mask purchases through its official WeChat account Friday, amid a severe shortage of protective masks as China battles the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The step was launched in a bid to curtail the public gathering in the stores so as to reduce the possible risks of contracting the virus.

"You can still buy masks from local stores but we encourage you to buy it through our platform. Since you don't need to wait on the queue in the crowds, it will reduce the risks for cross-infection," a customer service told the Global Times Friday. The lottery is only available to the locally registered residents or the social security payees, according to the service provider.

The winners will be notified via text message and unsuccessful applicants can directly participate in the subsequent lottery again.

However, the winners don't have the option of choosing the type and prices of the masks as they depend on the stores, not the platform, the customer service said.

Despite that each winner can only buy six masks from designated local stores, the service has still drawn many participants to try their luck, a service provider said, refusing to reveal the total number of applicants.

Masks shortages are the result of the inadequate production capacity during the Chinese Spring Festival which partly overlapped the coronavirus outbreak, industrial analysts said.

Minister of Industry and Information Technology Miao Wei said the ministry will take more powerful measures to ensure market supply.



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