Provide a steady supply of disease prevention supplies to reassure society and the people- Crucial Policy for Combating COVID-19 press enter to main content
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Provide a steady supply of disease prevention supplies to reassure society and the people

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I. Medical supplies for epidemic prevention:

Background

      As the COVID-19 epidemic became more serious globally, the international supply of epidemic prevention supplies became more restricted. In the past, supplies such as N95 respirators, protective apparels, and isolation gowns in Taiwan were mostly dependent on imports, and manufacturers stopped production during the Spring Festival, thus causing supply shortage. In response, a control policy on related medical countermeasures for epidemic prevention was implemented.

Implemented Measures

I. “3-tier Safety Stockpiling Framework of Personal Protecitve Equipment” was put in place to fulfill the basic requirements for personal protective equipment during disease prevention for health care and public health systems; related important epidemic prevention supplies are allocated on the basis of medical personnel, epidemic prevention and disadvantaged groups first.
II. Increase production or make emergency procurements to maintain steady supplies: The Ministry of Economic Affairs coordinated with manufacturers to increase production, and consolidated domestic enterprises including raw material suppliers and manufacturers to assist in producing disease prevention supplies.
III. From February 16, 2020, N95 respirators produced by domestic manufacturers were expropriated; protective apperals and isolation gowns were purchased for emergency, and allocated on the basis of medical personnel, epidemic prevention and disadvantaged groups first, so as to provide for the medical personnel at the front line, epidemic prevention personnel and the general public.
IV. By using the Epidemic Prevention Supplies Management Information System, information such as purchases, stocking, inventory, collection and re-stocking at all levels of inventory units can be monitored in real time. Furthermore, they can be delivered to local health bureaus and hospitals in a regular cycle, based on the inventory conditions at the local health bureau and hospitals.
V. The command center coordinated and consolidated related medical countermeasures for epidemic prevention (such as: forehead thermometers, masks, respirators, isolation gowns and medicinal alcohol), and healthcare institutions providing medical care were given priority for these supplies. From February 2020, communications with the medical industry and all business management units were kept, in order to manage, respond to, and solve problems in a timely manner. The disease prevention supplies from healthcare institutions were organized and shown in the following table:

Mask and Other Epidemic Prevention Supplies

Category

Item

Distribution Rules

Note

Mask

Surgical Mask

Local county/city health department distributes 1,700,000 surgical masks, 70% for its local healthcare institutions and 80 masks/week per physician.

 

Mask

N95 Mask

Distribution on an irregular basis, 

3 masks/week per western medicine/traditional Chinese medicine/dental clinic; 

6 masks/week per dental/otolaryngology/pediatric clinic.

MIS safety stock 115% for the regular hospitals

Isolation Gown

 

Distribution on an irregular basis, 

3 gowns/week per western medicine/ traditional Chinese medicine/dental clinic.

MIS safety stock 133% for the acute care hospitals and testing facilities

 

 

II. Related control measures regarding masks:

Background

           Since the main transmission pathway of the novel coronavirus is via contact with virus-carrying secretions or droplets, a mask is one of the most crucial item for implementing personal protection. To guarantee a sufficient supply of masks for our people, we expropriated, in a lawful manner, general medical masks and surgical masks produced by domestic factories, restricted exports of masks, and sped up the establishment of mask production lines. In addition, to ensure that all citizens would have a fair chance to buy masks, we have also introduced the Name-based Mask Distribution System.

Implemented Measures

I. From January 24, 2020, exports of masks were temporarily suspended.
II. Epidemic prevention supplies were deployed in advance, and a national mask team was created: General medical masks and surgical masks produced domestically were expropriated, and deployment of 60 mask production lines was completed, which enabled our daily mask production to be increased from 1.88 million to 19 million as of the end of April 2020.
III. From February 6, 2020, the “Name-based Mask Distribution System 1.0” was put in place (physical channel):
  1. Citizens could take their NHI cards and foreigners could take their resident permits or entry and exit permits, and go to approximately 6,280 NHI-contracted pharmacies to purchase a quantity of masks as regulated by the Command Center; queues were divided according to odd/even numbers for the last digit of the individual's National ID Number.
  2. The National Health Insurance Administration of the Ministry of Health and Welfare created a “Disease Prevention Mask Control System” in the “NHI MediCloud system”, in order to enable the NHI-contracted pharmacies to register stocking and purchasing information, and facilitate sales management.
  3. Apart from the masks for civilian use mentioned above, the Command Center allocated disease prevention masks for medical and official businesses, and delivered the masks to hospitals, health bureaus and medical and nursery institutions and units, as well as all official business units that had a requirement for disease prevention.
  4. For those who were unable to purchase masks on their own, including elderly people who lived alone, physically and mentally disabled persons and special patients, masks were also delivered to local governments, medical institutions and related units, so that the above-mentioned people could acquire masks easily.
  5. With respect to the requirement for masks in industries, the Ministry of Economic Affairs was responsible for consolidating and allocating.
IV. From February 16, 2020, all sales locations of the Name-based Mask Distribution System were integrated into the 303 health bureaus in Taiwan; from February 27, 2020, a total of 340 health bureaus (including health service centers) and health offices started to participate in sales.
V. On March 12, 2020, the “Name-based Mask Distribution System 2.0” (online channel) was introduced: With respect to sales of masks, in addition to the existing physical channels like NHI-contracted pharmacies and health bureaus, an online pre-purchasing channel was added; citizens could make authorized pre-purchases by logging into the eMask website using their NHI card or Citizen Digital Certificate, or use the NHI app.
VI. On April 22, 2020, the “Name-based Mask Distribution System 3.0” (pre-purchasing at convenience stores) was introduced: Citizens could purchase masks at a physical location without having to queue according to the last digit of their National ID Number, and the four major convenience store chains were integrated into the system, so that residents could take their NHI cards and go to more than 10,000 convenience stores to pre-purchase and pick up their masks.
VII. The Command Center adjusted the mask purchase cycle and restrictions on purchasable quantity for each person according to national mask production and epidemic conditions.

(President Tsai, Ing-Wen visited the National Mask Production Team)

 

(Commander Chen, Shih-Chung and TFDA Director General Wu, Shou-Mei visited local pharmacies in preparation for the Name-based Mask Distribution System)

(From Feb. 6th, 2020,NHI cards or Resident Certificate are required to purchase Masks.)


(The right way to wear a mask)

 

(Here's the bottom line: Face mask are sold in packages.)


III.General Masks for Food practitioners:

Background

      To prevent food contamination and the risks of disease transmission by saliva droplets from food practitioners, and to dispel consumers' doubts, the Command Center stipulated, according to the Good Hygiene Practice for Food and the corresponding guide for “COVID-19”, that precautions regarding social distancing should be observed, and masks are required to be worn by the food practitioners.

Implemented Measures

I. The Food and Drug Administration of the Ministry of Health and Welfare (abbreviated as FDA hereafter) promoted the food industry about measures such as wearing general masks to avoid spreading of droplets, and implement self-management to ensure the food sanitation and safety.
II. The Industrial Development Bureau of the Ministry of Economic Affairs held a meeting to coordinate supplies and demands concerning cloth masks for the food industry, provide information about cloth mask manufacturers to the food industry. Accordingly, FDA provides information about cloth mask manufacturers to the food industry, and assist in the allocation and purchasing of masks for industries.


Food Business Disease Prevention Campaign: Food practitioners wear general mask! Wash hands following proper steps! Rest when having fever!


Food Service Business Disease Prevention Campaign: Food practitioners wear general mask! Wash hands following proper steps! Rest when having fever!


IV. Proactively Reducing Tariffs for Raw Materials of Medicinal Alcohol:

Background

      Since the epidemic began in China, Taiwan's society has placed a greater emphasis on personal hygiene and protection, and the demand for disinfection and disease prevention by the people and enterprises increased by the day. To avoid a shortage of raw materials for medicinal alcohols, we have lowered tariffs for related items to encourage importation by industries.

Implemented Measures

      The Customs Administration of the Ministry of Finance reported to the Executive Yuan that the tariff for medicinal alcohols would be reduced from 20% to 10% from February 27, 2020 to May 26, 2020.


V. Control on Exports of Medicinal Alcohols and Hand Sanitizers that have Drug Permit Licenses:

Background

      With the development of the epidemic, the international demand for medicinal alcohols and hygiene hand gel has grown stronger, therefore controls on exports of related products were put in place to guarantee that the domestic medicinal alcohols and hygiene hand gel could satisfy domestic demand. In addition, we ensure the work of the supply of hygiene alcohol, to meet the daily disinfection and cleaning needs of the public.

Implemented Measures

I. Controls on exports were put in place and will be continued from April 16, 2020 until the Command Center is disbanded; during the period of control, if a manufacturer holding a drug permit license for medicinal alcohols and hygiene hand gel intends to export, the manufacturer should submit application letters to the FDA for prior approval each time.
II. With respect to the supplies of hygiene alcohols, consumers can go to various channels such as community pharmacies, convenience stores, supermarkets or outlet stores to purchase hygiene alcohol.


VI. Comprehensive Taiwan Drug Supply Database Platform:

Background

      The supply shortage of medicines is an important and current public health issue that the world must collectively face; ever since the epidemic outbreak, news related to the shortages of medicines have often caused panic in societies. In light of the gravity of the medicine supply and shortage issue, the FDA established the “Taiwan Drug Supply Database Platform” and keeps it updated, so as to effectively prevent medicine shortages and ease the impacts of insufficient medicine supplies, and guarantee the rights to medicines for the people.

Implemented Measures

I. The FDA has set up the “Taiwan Drug Supply Database Platform” and the corresponding strategic plans for drug shortages; When the platform receives the drug shortage report, the pharmacists are assigned to initially review the report, further evaluate possible drug substitutes and post the results of the drug evaluation on the platform.
II. To reduce the risks of supply disruptions or drug shortages, the FDA has announced two guidelines, the “Medicine Supply Management Principle during the Disease Prevention Period regarding Severe Special Contagious Pneumonia” and the “Handling Guide for Unequal Allocation of Medicines during the Disease Prevention Period regarding Severe Special Contagious Pneumonia, to prevent uneven distribution or stockpiling of drugs in medical institutions or pharmacies.


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  • Created:2020-05-14
  • Last Updated:2020-09-14
  • Data Source:Food and Drug Administration, Ministry of Health and Welfare
  • Count Views:1760
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