Distribution of masks regulated, egg export ban extended

Distribution of masks regulated, egg export ban extended

A customer buys chicken eggs at Pak Nam market in Samut Prakan province. The government has extended its ban on egg exports, and reorganised the distribution of surgical masks - to end local shortages of both items.(Photo: Somchai Poomlard)
A customer buys chicken eggs at Pak Nam market in Samut Prakan province. The government has extended its ban on egg exports, and reorganised the distribution of surgical masks - to end local shortages of both items.(Photo: Somchai Poomlard)

The government extended the ban on chicken egg exports on Monday and assigned two ministries to handle distribution of all locally made surgical masks, both steps intended to end continuing local shortages.

Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit said chicken eggs were still in short supply domestically, so he had extended the initial seven-day ban on exports for 30 more days. The ban was due to expire on Tuesday. 

About 41 million chicken eggs were produced commercially each day, and up to 1 million of them had until recently been exported each day, Mr Jurin said.

The ban on exports would end when the supply could meet domestic demand, he said.

Mr Jurin also addressed the shortage of surgical masks, especially for medical personnel.

He said local factories were making about 2.3 million masks a day. All of them would now go to the Public Health Ministry and the Interior Ministry.

The health ministry would get 1.3 million per day, which would be distributed to hospitals nationwide, both public and private.

The other 1 million masks would go to the Interior Ministry, instead of the Internal Trade Department, he said.

The ministry would distribute them directly to the governors of provinces, who would give some, free of charge, to risk groups of people, and the other masks to local shops for sale, Mr Jurin said.

He also said the Commerce Ministry would seek a budget from the cabinet to subsidise the production of masks by local factories, to allow them to maintain production amid the rising cost of the raw materials.


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