Saudi: 9 factories produce 2.5 million masks per day

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Facemasks are in the forefront of the high-demand health products in the Saudi local market after the authorities enforced strict precautionary measures and preventive protocols to stem the spread of coronavirus, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Jarrah Al-Jarrah, a spokesman of the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources, said that there are nine factories across the Kingdom that are manufacturing around two and a half million masks daily to meet the requirements of the local market.

The requirements include the need of health practitioners in hospitals and health centers, as well as employees of government and private firms and offices, and the public.

On his part, Tayseer Al-Mofarrej, spokesman of the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA), said that the average daily import of masks during the last 14 days reached 10 million, and efforts are underway to double these quantities in future.

Al-Jarrah said that the ministry is working, in coordination with its partners from government agencies and the private sector, to ensure a sufficient supply of medical masks in the local market as well as to have strategic storage to meet the future needs even after the expiry of the coronavirus crisis.

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According to Al-Jarrah, the pandemic crisis has proven the big capacity and high efficiency of the Kingdom’s industrial sector in dealing with the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, and reducing any negative effects impacting citizens, both individuals and institutions.

“The activities of a number of factories have been transformed to meet the actual market need. These efforts have been crowned with success in meeting the needs, especially in the sectors of food and pharmaceutical industries,” he said, adding that at present the ministry has a plan to expand and raise the production capacity of these products.

Al-Mofarrej said that a governmental committee, which has been formed since the beginning of the pandemic, is tasked with following up the availability of all virus prevention tools and materials in the local market.

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The committee, in coordination with the private sector, is working on a daily basis with a focus on two major aspects — local manufacturing and import. The committee, in cooperation with Saudia Cargo, has established an air bridge to ensure the adequate supply of masks.

Meanwhile, following a tour of a number of Saudi local factories producing masks, the Saudi Press Agency witnessed the size of masks production, its medical benefits and uses, materials used in its manufacture, correct methods of using masks, their types and the most efficient and high-quality products among them.

The SFDA, meanwhile, launched Tameni Application that allows consumers to know the locations of masks and sterilizers in more than 1,000 pharmacies in various governorates and regions of Saudi Arabia, where the quantities available are updated instantly.

The application can be downloaded via the link: https:// tameni.sfda.gov.sa.

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