To solve the dire shortage of mask, Dutch companies are going to produce millions of masks per week. In the first instance, these are only intended for healthcare personnel.

The Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS) has commissioned Auping and AFPRO Filters.

The second company already received an order of three million mouth masks. These will be produced in a factory in Alkmaar. In this way, the company wants to work "according to Dutch standards" and the mouth masks can be delivered quickly.

"When we heard about the harrowing shortage of mouth masks and our experience in China, we didn't think long," said a company spokesperson in conversation with NU.nl. "We decided to bring a mouth mask machine to the Netherlands."

The company, which has several factories in China, was looking for a way to get a machine from Wuhan to the Netherlands. They eventually found a cargo plane, which transports the machine to the Netherlands on April 14.

"In our factory in Alkmaar, a production hall has been cleared to produce the masks," said the spokesperson. "It takes a day before we can produce the first mouth masks, then the certification process takes about six days. Then production starts completely."

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Production must be scaled up

The masks in question are of the type FFP2, or mouth masks with a filter. Healthcare workers can use these masks according to the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) to protect themselves against aerosols (drops smaller than 5 micrometers).

The government becomes responsible for the distribution and distribution of the mouth masks produced. The intention is to eventually scale up.

See also: Chamber denounces shortage of protective equipment for health personnel

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