Bangkok — Police officers have raided a factory in central Thailand following a tip-off that it was recycling used face masks — ironing them and re-packaging them as new masks.
The raid, on a factory in Saraburi province, was reported by nationthailand.com on Tuesday (March 3).
Wihandaeng District Chief Officer Somsak Kaewsena said officers at the district police station received a tip-off from someone about the recycling activity in a factory in the Nongsuong sub-district.
Mr Kaewsena led a team of officers to raid the facility. They found six workers sorting through the used masks, ironing them to make them look new, and then re-packaging them in boxes as unused masks.
One of the workers was reported to have told the police that the used face masks came from a dealer but that it was not known where they came from.
It was found that each worker recycled 300 to 400 masks a day and was paid 1 baht (S$.04) per mask. This meant that the workers were paid between 300 and 400 baht (S$13.22 to S$17.63) for a day’s work.
The global toll from the Covid-19 outbreak is now more than 91,000 people infected, more than 3,000 dead and more that 77 countries and territories affected.
Thailand has confirmed 43 cases of infection and one fatality.
On Feb 7, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared that there was a global “chronic shortage” of masks and other types of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE). /TISG