By THE NATION
The ministry's permanent-secretary Boonyarit Kalayanamit said that demand for masks had risen sharply in response to the coronavirus outbreak and air pollution caused by the hazardous PM2.5 particulate matter.
The ministry has also asked mask manufacturers to boost production capacity to meet surging demand. .
The Department of Internal Trade's deputy director-general Prayoth Benyasut said that mask-makers had reassured him that there would not be a shortage, saying that their combined capacity amounts to 100 million items per month.
Normally, the demand for face masks averages 30 million per month and would increase to 50 million per month in the events of haze, thick smog or an epidemic.
Some manufacturers are now making masks round the clock, he added.
He said there would be sufficient supply of masks for the next four months while urging the public against hoarding.
He said people should call hotline 1569 to make a complain if they found any vendor selling masks at an inflated price.