Gov't aims to boost mask supply

January 31, 2020

(To watch the video with sign language interpretation, click here.)


The Government is taking a three-pronged approach to address the shortage of protective masks in the city.


Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development Edward Yau made the statement today during a press conference.


Mr Yau pointed out that the mask shortage is a global issue, which is why the Government is casting a wider net aimed at boosting supplies.


“The Government, as a major user, to procure such material for our frontline medical staff, we have been casting the net on a global basis, hoping that we can secure a more long-term and also greater quantity of masks.”


The Government’s second approach, Mr Yau explained, includes working with local retail and wholesale sectors which are in great need of such materials.


“We have talked to them and identified that there might be certain problems encountered in customs clearance when some of these of these materials are coming over from the Mainland.


“We have established channels to talk to Mainland authorities to make sure that certain orders, which have been placed, are able to be delivered on time and in full.


“Through this process we have been helping both government departments' procurement as well as procurement from the private sector.”


He said the third element involves companies approaching the Government to see if it can help bring back production lines and those wishing to donate masks.


“In this area, we are lining up government departments to work together. In addition to all these, there are also people and companies who would like to donate certain masks for those in need and we are helping them to channel these to charity groups or people in need.”


When it comes to controlling the price of masks, Mr Yau stressed that the Government will leave no stone unturned to deter price gouging.


“Price control, if that is done as a malpractice, stocking up or whatever, this is a job for the Consumer Council which has given advice, and also Customs has been taking enforcement action in the last few days.


“So these malpractices are being brought before the law.”


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