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As N95 masks run out, Japan turns to handful of domestic suppliers

Expansion hindered by lack of technology and post-pandemic oversupply fears

A global race is on to secure personal protective equipment like masks and face shields, leading to a shortage in many countries.    © Reuters

TOKYO -- Japan needs 13 million N95 masks in the coming months to fight the coronavirus pandemic. It can secure only 700,000 this month.

The N95, which can block extremely small viral particles, is normally a disposable mask. But with the shortage so severe, the health ministry has begun calling for hospitals to reuse them as an emergency measure.

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