The outbreak of COVID-19 virus from many countries all over the world has caused a shortage in supply of various sanitary necessities like soap, alcohol, and most of all, face masks. As the demand for these products keeps growing, government agencies are also on the look-out for potential hoarding and extensive prices that may be implemented by various business establishments.
But, what they failed to foresee is the potential “recycling” of face masks that just happened at a factory in Thailand!
As disgusting as it may seem, it turns out that authorities busted six workers sorting out used face masks and ironing them before folding them in boxes to look like new, unused ones. One of the workers reportedly told the police that they received used face masks from a dealer and therefore did not know the real origin.
According to Nation Thailand, the recycling factory is located in Nongsuong subdistrict and officers from the Wihandaeng Police Station were able to receive a report about the face-mask recycling which prompted them to take action and raid the said factory.
Meanwhile, in a report by Business Insider, Somsak Kaewsena, the Wihandaeng district chief officer said that they interviewed a 47-year-old store owner who confessed to selling up to 200,000 used masks. As for the workers in the recycling factory, they are earning $0.03 for every mask they recycled, and they each turned out 300-to-400 masks a day.
Since the report gained a lot of attention and alarmed the citizens of Thailand, the government declared it would take full control of face-mask distribution across the country.
As of writing time, Thailand now has 59 cases of the COVID-19 virus nad one fatality as reported by Bangkok Post.