BEIJING, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- China's mask production capacity utilization rate reached 94 percent as of Tuesday with more enterprises that had suspended operations due to the novel coronavirus outbreak resuming production, an official said Thursday.
In particular, the capacity utilization rate of medical N95 masks, which are urgently needed on the front lines of the battle against the epidemic, reached 128 percent on Tuesday, said Xia Nong, an official with the National Development and Reform Commission, at a press conference held in Beijing.
The daily production of medical N95 masks in Hubei Province had risen sharply from 45,000 on Feb. 2 to Tuesday's 158,000, according to Xia.
With the national coordination and arrangements, the supply of medical masks for medical personnel at the front lines has been guaranteed in provinces hit hard by the epidemic including Hubei, Guangdong, Henan and Zhejiang.
Further steps to expand mask production will be carried out according to the needs of epidemic prevention and control, and the supply of equipment and materials will be strengthened to ensure production, he said.
Xia called for equipment manufacturers to go full steam ahead in production to help alleviate the shortage.
In the wake of the outbreak, the demand for medical supplies has soared, and currently the most urgent need is for protective suits. Unified management and arrangements of key medical materials including protective gowns have been implemented, said Cao Xuejun, an official with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
Cao stressed that improving production capacity is the foundation for ensuring key material supplies in epidemic prevention, adding that measures relating to production expansion and technological transformation as well as supplies of raw materials, equipment and personnel have been stepped up.
Among the 563 disinfectant enterprises in China, the daily output of 171 chlorine-containing disinfectant manufacturers has reached 4,597 tonnes, and the operating rate is nearly 80 percent at present, according to Cao.
The daily output of 94 enterprises producing medical alcohol has reached 906 tonnes, with an operating rate of 97.1 percent, Cao said, noting that the operating rate of such disinfectant producers is gradually increasing and there would be no problem in meeting the demand.