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Price control to begin for face masks

Children wear face masks at Don Mueang airport to protect themselves from the coronavirus outbreak. (Photo by Varuth Hirunyatheb)

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The government is putting face masks and alcohol-based hand sanitiser on the state price control list as part of efforts to deal with the deadly virus outbreak.

Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit said the committee approved inclusion of face masks and alcohol-based hand sanitiser on the list and will propose the move to the cabinet Tuesday.

Once on the price control list, manufacturers, distributors, exporters and importers have to inform the Internal Trade Department the production cost, sales prices, production volume, export and import volume and stocks as wells as price labels.

Those who export more than 500 pieces need to gain prior approval from the department.

Similar measures are applied to hand sanitiser.

"The latest measures are just short-lived and will last until the epidemic passes," said Mr Jurin.

Mr Jurin said the inclusion of the two products into the price control list is essential, because the demand for the face masks has surged to 40-50 million pieces per month after the new virus outbreak from 30 million pieces a month previously.

Thailand produces about 30 million pieces a month.

The director-general of the Internal Trade Department, said the government may limit face mask purchases to 10 pieces per person per purchase, considered sufficient for 15 days.

He said once put on the price control list, those who are found to hoard or charge unfair prices will be subject to not more than seven years in jail or fined up to 140,000 baht, or both.

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approval : official permission - การอนุมัต

cabinet : the group of government ministers who make and approve government policy - คณะรัฐมนตรี

commerce minister : the minister in charge of the Commerce Ministry - รัฐมนตรีว่าการกระทรวงพาณิชย์

epidemic : a large number of cases of a particular disease happening at the same time in a particular community - โรคระบาด

essential : necessary - ที่จำเป็น

hoard : to collect a large amount of something - เก็บสะสม

inclusion (noun): being included or part of something - การผนวก, การรวมเข้าไว้ด้วยกัน

label (noun): a piece of paper, etc. that is attached to something and that gives information about it - ฉลาก, แถบ

sanitiser : a piece of equipment designed to make something completely clean and free from bacteria - เครื่องทำให้ปราศจากเชื้อโรค

sufficient : enough - เพียงพอ

volume (noun): an amount of something - ปริมาณ


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