Leaving surgical masks for the healthcare professionals.
In response to the shortage of surgical masks and in a bid to reduce the spread of coronavirus, SRT Electrified Train Co., Ltd, the operator of Bangkok’s Airport Rail Link services, has installed cloth mask vending machines at three stations.
Priced at B20 each, the masks are available at Makkasan, Lat Krabang and Phaya Thai Airport Rail Link stations—handy for those caught out by the recent requirement for all passengers to wear masks, laid out by the Department of Rail Transport. Although cloth masks are deemed to be less effective than surgical masks, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that they can still help to slow the spread of the virus, while ensuring medical grade masks are reserved for healthworkers dealing with confirmed cases.
As reported on the PR Thai Government Facebook page, the masks for the vending machines are “produced by the Department of Corrections.” Although no further information is given on this point, The Nation reported last month that prisons have been deployed to make masks, stating that director-general Pol Colonel Narat Sawetnant said “prisoners can keep the profit as savings to start a new life when they get out of prison” and that the Ministry of Health oversees the quality of these masks.