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Masks Can Only Be Purchased Using Real Names Starting on Feb. 6

Staff takes the temperature of a visitor at the entrance of Taipei Arena In light of the novel coronavirus outbreak in China, the Central Epidemic Command Center has announced that the masks can only be purchased using one's real name starting on February 6.

A total of 689 NHI-contracted pharmacies in Taipei City will assist in selling masks. Citizens with even numbers as the last digit of their ID number may personally purchase masks by presenting their National Health Insurance (NHI) card; each card is allowed to purchase 2 masks for NT$10, and no repeat purchases will be permitted within 7 days. If calculated based on the principle of allocating 200 adult masks and 50 children's masks per pharmacy per day, Taipei City is expected to distribute 137,800 adult masks and 34,450 children's masks. Taipei City Government will monitor the distribution condition of various pharmacies and offer assistance if necessary.

In order to separate the consumers, people with even numbers as the last digit of their ID number may purchase masks on every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, while those with odd numbers may do so on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Sunday is open to all citizens who wish to purchase masks. Office workers or persons with disabilities may ask their friends or families to purchase masks on their behalf, only one NHI card is allowed per proxy. At the same time, children's masks can only be bought with the NHI cards of children under 12 years old. The Department of Health (DOH) explained that the citizens may purchase 2 masks per person per week at the cost of NT$5 per mask.

For more information, please refer to the National Health Insurance Administration (NHIA), MOHW's web page (https://www.nhi.gov.tw/Content_List.aspx?n=395F52D193F3B5C7&topn=395F52D193F3B5C7) and make use of NHIA's new system to check the quantity of masks available at each NHI-contracted pharmacy. The system is expected to become operational on February 6. Alternatively, the public may also download the National Health Insurance app and click on Check Pharmacy to display the locations of all NHI-contracted pharmacies within a radius of 1-10km. Senior citizens living alone and those requiring assistance will be supported by DOH and Department of Social Welfare after the central government has finalized the necessary planning.

The DOH reiterated that the masks should be worn when going to a hospital/clinic as an outpatient, or if you are accompanying or visiting a patient. You should also wear a mask if you exhibit respiratory symptoms or if you are a chronic illness patient going outside. Make sure to abide by these 3 mask-wearing occasions and guidelines in order to maximize the effectiveness of masks. Please refer to the DOH's website for relevant details (https://health.gov.taipei/).