In response to media reports that "the Ministry of National Defense (MND) did not release, based on occupational category, masks to the Armed Forces with the guidance of 10 masks in 14 days and 14 masks in 14 days based on the resolution by the Executive Yuan and only on the 17th announced that it would release one mask to every person per day of the entire Armed Forces," the MND rebutted today (21) that the content of the report is not consistent with facts. The MND has repeatedly stated that the priority of mask supply should be given to needs for executing tasks of epidemic prevention and combat readiness in considering the limited supply of masks at the early stage of the epidemic, sharing hardship by the community, and limited allocation of resources. Furthermore, the MND will continue to put forward its demands to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).
The MND pointed out that the Executive Yuan began coordinating in terms of guidelines from 9th April and convened the MND and CECC for joint discussions after domestic mask production increased. It was initially resolved that 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" will be distributed one mask a day, totaling 47,500 pieces. Upon obtaining these masks, the MDN had them delivered on 14th April to the officers and soldiers. On the other hand, officers and soldiers who execute regular business are issued 10 masks in 14 days, and those who are allotted and rationed will be marked on their health insurance card by the National Health Insurance Administration. The MDN will actively overcome such problems as personal data protection, annotation procedures, and budget acquisition. With good effort, the application for annotation for all officers and soldiers was completed on 18th April.
The MND further stated that the Executive Yuan had again convened a meeting on 17th April as a response to the development of the epidemic and decided to expand the quota of one mask per person every day to the entire Armed Forces following overall consideration of safeguarding military strength, as well as ensuring the health of the Armed Forces. The updated information was officially released by the MND, and 2.8 million pieces were allocated on the 18th.
The MND expressed its gratitude to all for their concerns about the needs of the officers and soldiers of the Armed Forces nationals for anti-epidemic materials, and it should continue to work with government policies, strengthen various anti-epidemic activities, and work together with nationals to fight the epidemic.