Japan Rushes to Supply Face Masks as Hospitals Worried

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Tokyo, Feb. 5 (Jiji Press)--Japan's health ministry and face mask makers are pouring efforts into ensuring stable supplies of masks for medical workers, with demand surging amid the outbreak of a new coronavirus.

Medical institutions across the country, including those designated for infectious disease treatment, are moving to increase their mask stocks, according to medical industry sources.

"We're increasing orders (for face masks) in case of delivery delays," an official of Shizuoka General Hospital in the central city of Shizuoka said.

Toyooka Hospital in the city of Toyooka, Hyogo Prefecture, western Japan, has been told by a vendor of difficulties procuring face masks with makers suspending shipments. "We have sufficient stocks for the time being, but we're concerned that supply shortages will be prolonged," an official of the hospital said, indicating that it is looking for a new vendor.

"There must be no obstacles to medical activities," an industry group official said. "Allowing stocks to run out cannot be tolerated."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press