Strategies for supplying face masks to the population of Taiwan during the COVID-19 pandemic

Chin Mei Liu, Charles Tzu Chi Lee*, Shu Mei Chou, Hai Yun Ko, Jen Hsin Wang, Yi Chien Chih, Chia Chi Chang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The use of face masks has become ubiquitous in Taiwan during the early COVID-19 pandemic. A name-based rationing system was established to enable the population of Taiwan to purchase face masks. This study is to assess the extent and fairness of face mask supply to the public in Taiwan. Methods: The weekly face marks supplies were collected from name-based rationing system administrative statistics included national health insurance card and e-Mask selling record. National registered population statistics by age, gender, and district were collected from department of statistics ministry of the interior. The number of COVID-19 non-imported cases of Taiwan was collected from Taiwan centers of disease control. Results: A total of 146,831,844 person times purchase records from February 6, 2020, to July 19, 2020, the weekly average face mask supply is 0.5 mask (per person) at the start of name-based rationing system, and gradually expanded to the maximum 5.1 masks (per person). Comparing the highest weekly total face mask supply (from Apr 9, 2020, to Apr 15, 2020) in aged 0–9 -, 10–19 -, 20–29 -, 30–39 -, 40–49 -, 50–59 -, 60–69 -,70–79 -, 80–89 -, 90–99, and > 100 years to the register population showed similar distribution between mask supplied people and total population (all standardized difference < 0.1). Conclusion: The masks supply strategies has gradually escalated the number of face masks for the public, it not only has dominant decreased the barrier of acquiring face mask, but a fair supply for total population use of Taiwan.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1854
JournalBMC Public Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec


  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • Face mask
  • Face mask supply
  • Heading: Face mask supply strategies in Taiwan
  • Name-based rationing system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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