TAIPEI, TAIWAN — In response to complaints by boys that they had been bullied in school for bringing pink face masks, Taiwanese health officials donned pink face masks at a regular press conference on Monday, according to a Hong Kong Free Press report.
Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung, who led the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) briefing, said that some male students had refused to wear pink face masks to school for fear of being ridiculed by classmates. Chen said that the colour of masks did not matter, adding that when he was young he enjoyed watching The Pink Panther cartoon.
Taiwan has been one of the most successful countries in the world in containing the coronavirus, despite its close proximity to mainland China where the virus broke out. Taiwan reported an additional five coronavirus cases on Monday, all from abroad, driving its total to 393. 114 patients have been released from isolation while the remainder continue to be hospitalised, according to authorities.
Six deaths related to the virus have been recorded since February, though – in a sign of the pandemic slowing – the island reported zero new cases on Tuesday.
The island is one of the largest manufacturers of face masks worldwide, though the government has imposed restrictions on sending masks abroad due to limited domestic supplies. Citizens can send up to 30 masks to relatives abroad every two months.
Under a rationing scheme, locals are able to purchase a maximum of nine adult masks and 10 children masks per fortnight. The quota, which came into effect last Thursday, marked an increase from three adult masks and five children masks per week.