Ethiopia Set to Produce over 5 Mil. Face Masks a Day

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Addis Ababa June 10/2020(ENA) Ethiopia will start to produce 5.5 million face masks per day to ease the growing demand for face masks as the spread of Coronavirus pandemic surges in the country.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry told ENA that some 67 textile factories will soon start production of 5.5 face masks a day for social care.  

Face coverings on public areas and transport has become mandatory in Ethiopia to help stop the transmission of coronavirus as more people got infected with the virus.

Communication Director-Genaral at Ministry, Wondimu Flate said about 67 textile factories in the country have selected to enter into full production of face masks to meet the demand.

Various Industrial Parks have already engaged on production of face masks, he said adding that manufacturing companies at Hawasa Industrial Park are making 10,000 face masks per day with a plan to increase to 50,000 on daily basis.

“We identified textile companies to produce about 5.5 million masks in a day. The companies already started the production but they are striving to advance their capacity to 5.5 million face masks within a day. By achieving this, we will also able to export our production to other countries after fulfilling local demands.”he said.

The spread of COVID-19 pandemic is rapidly surging in Ethiopia as of Tuesday, the total infection case has reached 2,336.

According to a data from the Ministry of Health, the country needs more than 130 million medical face masks in the next four months in addition to the respiratory face masks.

The Ministry has been negotiating with the different companies including textile factories to produce personal protective equipment (PPE) which helps to reduce the chance of touching, being exposed and prevent the spread of coronavirus in the society, he stated.  

“We are encouraging our factories to engage on the production of Cornoavirus prevention materials without stopping their usual business and without cutting up their employees as they struggles with the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. This has also economic opportunity to the sector beyond responding the pandemic,” he said.

The Communication Director enlightened that the production measure up respiratory face mask quality recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Ministry has also identified level of standards for the production.

WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom on Friday said people should wear a three-layer fabric masks: absorbent cotton closest to the face, followed by a polypropylene layer and then a synthetic layer that is fluid-resistant.

According to him, the masks can be made at home, but that small companies may begin to produce them, also providing jobs.