Belarus to ramp up production of masks to 1m items this week
The light industry is expected to produce up to 1 million masks per day by the end of the week, Belarus' Healthcare Minister Vladimir Karanik said during a live stream on the Youtube channel of the National Press Center on 8 April, BelTA reported.
According to the minister, 750,000 masks were sold between November and February during the swine flu epidemic in 2009. “Now we sell this volume probably in a day. The demand has surged. We could have bought masks somewhere to quell the demand. But most countries have banned the export of masks. Therefore, we count on ourselves. Thank God, we have preserved our light industry which is now adjusting to producing face masks,” Vladimir Karanik said.
The head of state has set a task to ramp up the production of these goods. “By the end of this week, the light industry is expected to produce one million masks per day. This applies not only to gauze sanitary masks but also nonwoven masks - the classic disposables to which we are accustomed,” the minister said.
Next week the production of masks will be ramped up to 2 million items per day. “I think we will first saturate our market, create the necessary reserves in view of the increased demand, and then will see whether we continue to stock up or export to our neighbors,” Vladimir Karanik added.
The demand for masks has increased not only in Belarus. Despite the ban, a significant amount of masks is taken out of the country in various ways by individuals. This issue is under scrutiny.