BANGKOK (Xinhua) — Thailand’s Ministry of Commerce said on Monday that it will extend the ban on chicken egg exports and continue handling distribution of locally made surgical masks in an attempt to cushion continuing local shortages.
“The hoarding of chicken eggs has continued and therefore eggs are still in short supply domestically, so the Ministry of Commerce has decided to extend the ban on egg exports for 30 more days,” said Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit.
The initial seven-day ban on egg exports was due to expire 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, Jurin said.
The minister said the ban on exports would end when the supply could meet domestic demand.
“Same goes to the shortage of surgical masks, especially for medical personnel,” said Jurin. “The ban on exports of surgical masks would end when the supply could meet domestic demand.”
“Thailand’s local factories can make about 2.3 million masks a day. However, all of mask distributions will be regulated by the Public Health Ministry and the Interior Ministry,” Jurin said.
Jurin also said he will seek a budget from the Cabinet meeting to subsidize the production of surgical masks by local factories, to allow them to maintain production in the wake of rising cost of raw materials.