According to custom officials, Mongolia imported 68.7 thousand face masks in January, 2020; this is an increase of 59.0 thousand on the same period previous year. This demand for masks is being driven by highly infectious coronavirus outbreak in China. As of today (6 February), a total of 1.5 million face masks have been imported to Mongolian by 16 enterprises and over 10 individuals from seven countries including Turkey and South Korea.
Mongolians living or studying abroad has started to send masks home at the initiation of a non-government organization called the Council of Mongolians Abroad. The campaign of sending masks to Mongolia is being coordinated in by the NGO in the USA, Turkey, Poland, South Korea, Sweden, Belgium, Australia, Japan, the Czech Republic, Germany and Russia.
The Mongolian Government decided on 3 February to add masks, hand sanitizers and other medical protection items to the list of goods to be exempt from import duties in accordance with the Medical Law. In addition, the national airline MIAT, is transporting masks sent by Mongolians from foreign countries free of charge.
There are few face mask producers in Mongolia; those small firms which exist are totally unable to meet national demand from the threat of coronavirus.