He added that the 11 manufacturers can now produce 2.3 million masks a day. Of the total, 1.3 million will be given to the Public Health Ministry for healthcare workers while the Interior Ministry will take the balance of 1 million for distribution to village health volunteers and officials providing services to the public.
The distribution of face masks will gradually expand to cover the general public while exports will be banned without permission.
He added that the Finance Ministry was working out a plan to lower import tax of medical equipment , after cutting the import tax of masks to zero per cent.
He denied a report that the government had prepared a plane to repatriate Thais stranded in Italy.