China orders 200M masks from Turkey amid virus outbreak

China orders 200M masks from Turkey amid virus outbreak

China has put in orders for a total of 200 million protective face masks from Turkish medical firms over the past 10 days, as the country wrestles an outbreak of the novel coronavirus, Anadolu agency reports.

Anadolu Agency reached out to a stakeholder, Fatih Arpaci, in a medical firm based in Turkey's western province.

Arpaci said as a "surprising" turnout of events, Chinese firms ordered a total of 200 million face masks in one go.

"It is surprising to us as China is one of the biggest face mask producers in the world. Turkey produces a total of 150 million face masks in one year. But they wanted 200 million face masks," he said.

"Demands keep coming not only from China, but also from other countries such as Italy, the Netherlands, France, Poland and Germany. We work 24 hours a day to meet this demand. We also work on Sundays." Arpaci said.

As a respiratory illness, the virus can be transmitted through the air, with a protective mask covering the mouth and nose being a popular precaution against infection.

With mask stocks dwindling in China, demand in the country for the face-gear has skyrocketed since the virus erupted late last year.

One of the countries Beijing has turned to meet this demand was Turkey, where producers have since boosted activity.

Arpaci said his company alone would make an initial shipment of 250,000 masks to China, adding that the requested numbers were very high, considering the firm's capacity.