BANGKOK, Dec. 23 (Xinhua) -- Thailand's Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit issued Wednesday a warning against vendors who over-charge prices of locally-made surgical masks.
"From now on, all surgical face masks must be sold at 2.5 baht (0.083 U.S. dollar) a piece, with violators liable to jail time and/or fines," said Jurin, who chairs the Central Committee on Goods and Service Prices which regulates and control prices related to face masks and alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
Those who hoard surgical masks will face harsher punishment, a jail term of up to seven years and/or a fine of up to 140,000 baht (4,632 U.S. dollars), Jurin said.
The minister also assured the public that Thailand will not experience a shortage of face masks.
"We have more than 11 factories with a combined daily production capacity of 1.2 million face masks," said Jurin, "We have plenty of supply."
The Ministry of Commerce's close scrutiny against hiking up prices of surgical masks, came after a significant surge of COVID-19 in and around Samut Sakhon Province on Saturday, prompting a local lockdown in the province.
Coronavirus infections linked to an outbreak in Samut Sakhon have now reached 22 provinces.
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