In response to external concerns about "confirmed cases on board the Goodwill Fleet, a consequence of an insufficient supply of masks for the Armed Forces," the Ministry of National Defense (MND) clarified today (20) that it had provided eight types of materials, including 34,550 masks, 600 sets of protective clothing, alcohol, antibacterial gel, and others during its visit with the Naval Goodwill Fleet. All of the resources have properly provided for the fleet’s needs to conduct anti-epidemic deployment and combat readiness.
The MND pointed out that it has prioritized use by personnel for epidemic prevention and combat readiness tasks in light of the situation of replenishing masks to the Armed Forces, as well as considering the limited supply of masks in the early stage of the epidemic, difficulties sharing among the community, and limited resources for allocation. Therefore, priority has been granted to allocating masks to the following four categories of personnel: "operation personnel within crowded spaces," "sentry-post guards taking body temperatures at the gate," "personnel of health troops actually engaged in taking temperature measurements, diagnosis and treatment, emergency aid, and evacuation," and "new recruits." Based on the needs of these personnel, the MND submitted an application to the (materials section) of the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) for distribution. Overall, about 47,500 men and women would be in need for the distribution of masks.
After domestic mask production increased, the Executive Yuan began to coordinate guidance from 9th April onwards and convened the MND and the CECC for joint discussions. On 15 April, once the technical problems of the APP for distribution were solved, every single man and woman of the Armed Forces have been subsequently provided with one mask every day, and it is no longer necessary for them to purchase masks by themselves until the epidemic ends. The purpose is to uphold the health of officers and soldiers of the Armed Forces, as well as the integrity of Taiwan’s combat power.