BACKGROUND: The emerging COVID-19 is a severe health crisis worldwide . Wearing a mask was straightforward but shortage of stock and equity of allocation were important issues in Taiwan . Furthermore, increased anxiety leading to stockpiling of masks is common during the pandemic .
OBJECTIVE: We aimed to summarize the name-based mask rationing plan implemented in Taiwan and explore the perceived anxiety of mask shortage .
METHODS: The government of Taiwan took action to control the supply and allocation of facemasks . We summarize the timeline and important components of mask rationing plan . A simple survey with a 5-point scale questionnaire that aimed to investigate the overall responses to the mask rationing plan was conducted to 44 participants .
RESULTS: The mask rationing plan was implemented since late January 2020 and the daily production capacity increased from 2 millions masks to 16 millions in April 2020 . People could buy 9 masks in 14 days by verification of national health insurance card . Software applications of face mask availability was demonstrated . Moreover, the mask plan safeguarded the purchase of masks and could result in a decrease in anxiety of mask shortage (4.05 ± 1.15 points, agree or strongly agree : 72.7% participants). And the majority of people felt that the mask plan was satisfactory (4.2±0.92 points, agree or strongly agree : 79.5 %).
CONCLUSIONS: We found the unique name-based mask rationing plan could control the production, supply of masks, and contribute to the appropriate allocation of masks . It may not only provide physical barriers, but also result in a reduction in the anxiety of mask shortage during the pandemic.