Iran launching largest plant for face masks in West Asia

Press TV – Iran is launching the largest face mask plant in West Asia as authorities aim to exponentially increase production capacity for the protective gear in the time of a new coronavirus pandemic that has affected thousands of people in the country.

Government Spokesman Ali Rabiei said on Monday that the plant will be launched within the coming days in the Eshtehard Industrial Park in Alborz, the province neighboring the capital Tehran.

“This unit has a capacity for producing 2 million masks per day which could meet a bulk of the country’s need,” said Rabiei while in Alborz provincial capital Karaj.

Other officials said that face mask output of the plant in Eshtehard, which could go beyond 2 million a day, would be double the current production capacity for the personal protective equipment (PPE) in the entire Iran.

Ramin Rabiei, who heads the provincial government department for industrial activities, said that face masks planned to be produced in the company would be of the surgical type, or technically known as 3 ply masks, which are widely used in hospitals and care homes by health staff dealing with new coronavirus patients.

Lack of PPE has been a major issue for many countries currently grappling with the pandemic as reports have suggested that health staff in countries like Britain and elsewhere face acute shortages of such items in hospitals and care homes.

Iran, a country under a series of bitter US sanctions, has largely relied on homegrown efforts to fight the pandemic as the unjust and illegal bans have hampered government’s ability to import drugs and vital medical equipment needed to contain the disease.

More than 73,000 people have tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, since it was spotted in Iran on February 19. Nearly 46,000 patients have recovered while over 4,500 have died, according to figures provided by the health ministry on Monday.