Thailand tightens control of face mask price hinh anh 1Thailand tightens control of face mask price. (Photo: chiangraitimes)

Bangkok (VNA)
Face masks and alcohol-based hand sanitiser have been included on the state price control list which will be proposed to the Thai cabinet on February 4, as part of efforts to contain the new coronavirus outbreak, local media reported.

Thailand’s central committee on prices of goods and services approved inclusion of face masks and alcohol-based hand sanitiser on the list during its meeting, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit, on February 3.

Once on the price control list, manufacturers, distributors, exporters and importers have to inform the Internal Trade Department the production cost, sales prices, production volume, export and import volume and stocks as wells as price labels.

Those who export more than 500 pieces need to gain prior approval from the department.

Similar measures are applied to hand sanitiser, except for the limit on export volume as there are still adequate quantities for domestic demand.

The inclusion of the two products into the price control list is essential, because the demand for the face masks has surged to 40-50 million pieces per month after the new virus outbreak from 30 million pieces a month ago.

The Internal Trade Department unveiled that the government may limit face mask purchases to 10 pieces per person per purchase, considered sufficient for 15 days.

Under Thailand’s Price of Goods and Services Act of 1999, once put on the price control list, those who are found to hoard or charge unfair prices will be subject to no more than seven years in jail or fined up to 140,000 THB, or both.

Those who refuse to comply will face five years of imprisonment, a fine of no more than 100,000 THB, or both.

Thailand has so far confirmed 19 cases infected by the deadly virus originated from China’s Wuhan city. A Thai taxi driver, who does not have a record of travelling to China, was lately tested positive with novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). It was the first human-to-human transmission of the coronavirus in Thailand./.