Mask suppliers look elsewhere amid high demand, China export ban

Workers making face masks last week at a factory in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, that normally makes surgical instruments and dental equipment. It is among companies in China that have revamped part of their production facilities to make masks in order
Workers making face masks last week at a factory in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, that normally makes surgical instruments and dental equipment. It is among companies in China that have revamped part of their production facilities to make masks in order to meet the increased demand.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Face masks are flying off the shelves in many countries. There were long queues to buy masks last week in Hanoi, Vietnam (above, left), and people scrambled to buy them in the Philippines (above, right) after the government confirmed the country's fi
Face masks are flying off the shelves in many countries. There were long queues to buy masks last week in Hanoi, Vietnam (above), and people scrambled to buy them in the Philippines after the government confirmed the country's first coronavirus case last month.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS
Workers making face masks last week at a factory in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, that normally makes surgical instruments and dental equipment. It is among companies in China that have revamped part of their production facilities to make masks in order
Face masks are flying off the shelves in many countries. There were long queues to buy masks last week in Hanoi, Vietnam, and people scrambled to buy them in the Philippines (above) after the government confirmed the country's first coronavirus case last month. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Every month after its opening in 2007, a 10,000 sq ft factory in Woodlands cranked out one million surgical masks.

But five years after it opened, the machines fell silent.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 28, 2020, with the headline 'Mask suppliers look elsewhere amid high demand, China export ban'. Print Edition | Subscribe