The fight against the coronavirus epidemic is being hampered by serious global shortages of face masks. Therefore, a group of volunteers in Hualien is teaching the public ways to extend the effectiveness of surgical masks.
The name-based surgical mask purchasing system has been implemented for over a week. However, some in Hualien still are having a hard time getting their hands on masks. It is especially difficult for those who have to work during the day since they can't get to NHI-contracted pharmacies in time to purchase masks. Many migrant workers can only cover their face with cloth since their employers have not provided them with masks.
We can't go out, and there is no way we can purchase any mask. So we have to use cloth to cover our faces.
I have to go to work during the day. And when I get around to line up for masks on Saturday and Sunday, there's no mask left.
In an effort to help those who can't get their hands on masks, members of a volunteer group in Hualien have instructed the public to extend the effective period of a surgical mask. Their method involves making a mask shell with waterproof cloth as the outer layer, using cotton as the inner layer, and stuffing a surgical mask inside this makeshift shell.
We plan to make a thousand of these masks and donate them to migrant workers and those in disadvantaged positions. We welcome all people from the community to learn how to make this type of mask. We'll teach them for free.
The volunteers teach five ways of making the protecting shell for masks. The models include one or tri-fold and three-dimensional ones that allow the public to place surgical masks or paper tissue in. The shell can be washed on a daily basis, and the public can decide how often they switch out the masks inside.
This is quite practical. Surgical masks are supposed to be one-time use only. However, if we throw away one mask every day, there won't be enough to go around.
The migrant workers said that there are over 200 Indonesian workers in Hualien and they appreciate the help from the volunteers. The volunteers said many doctors have supported their shell for its effectiveness to extend the usage period for surgical masks. They call on the public to make sure the shells are frequently disinfected and clean.
印尼移工 Su xi表示：「沒有辦法出去，然後也沒有辦法買，我們利用那個，一個東西綁起來這樣。(布？) 對，布。」