EghtesadOnline: Domestic manufacturers are now producing 6.5 million facemasks per day in line with efforts to meet the surging market demand driven by the spread of the novel coronavirus, a deputy industries minister said.
“The daily output of three-layer facemasks has reached six million. About 500,000 N95 masks are also produced per day,” Mehdi Sadeqi-Niyaraki was also quoted as saying by IRNA.
Iran’s facemask production hovered around 200,000 per day, prior to the coronavirus pandemic.
The coronavirus first emerged in Iran in mid-February.
Sadeqi-Niyaraki noted that the production of N95 masks now exceeds domestic demand, however, the product’s exports have been halted due to a recent ban by the Industries Ministry.
Hossein Modarres Khiyabani, the ministry’s caretaker, said on Monday that raw materials for the production of 10 million facemasks per day have been supplied.
“Plans are underway to bolster the output of the much-needed product by expanding the capacity of production lines and establishing new factories,” he said.
According to Khiyabani, a total of 96 industrial units are currently active in facemask production, of which about 40 were established after the coronavirus outbreak.
These factories have produced over 100 million three-layer facemasks since the outbreak.
The Health Ministry has launched a new website, Bamask.ir, to distribute cheap facemasks in a more regulated way.
The biggest facemask production unit in Southwest Asia, with a daily production capacity of 3,000 respiratory masks and 100,000 N95 masks, was launched in Alborz Province in April.
According to Sadeqi-Niyaraki, the production of other protective medical equipment has also increased.
“We have reached a surplus in the production of other coronavirus-related items, including alcohol, nursing gowns and different types of disinfectants,” he said.
Keyvan Gordan, another official with the ministry, said on July 3 that while the production of medical gloves hovered around 2 million pairs per day before the new virus emerged, it has spiked to 4.5 million pairs per day, indicating a 150% rise.
In case of sanitizers and detergents, the official said domestic companies have increased their hand wash production to 450,000 tons per day, marking a 36% growth compared to the pre-coronavirus period.
"Soap production grew by 33% from 180,000 tons per day to 240,000 tons per day,” he said.
Golpour added that ethanol production has almost doubled from 170,000 liters to 300,000 liters per day.
“Disinfectant production has seen an eightfold rise from 50,000 liters to 400,000 liters per day,” he added.
The Industries Ministry recently prohibited exports of facemasks, less than a week after it gave the green light to manufacturers to ship their surplus output to foreign markets.
The tightened regulations follow the rising number of infections across Iran.