Buddhist monks sew orange face masks that match their robes to protect against coronavirus

Buddhist monks in Thailand are working around the clock to sew
scared orange face masks to guard themselves against coronavirus.

The religious devotees in Chiang Mai in the north of the country said they have struggled to find protective wear after months of air pollution and the recent COVID-19 outbreak had caused shops to sell out.

Some unscrupulous businesses had also hiked the price of their stock, leaving desperate locals with little chance of building them. Monks are also restricted to their temple, meaning they have little chance to venture outside in search of face masks.

However, the abbot at the Doi Suthep temple, Thongchai Suwannasiri, had the idea for monks to sew their own masks with pieces of 'blessed' material.

Monk Phar Roongroj Thaviro bought the cloth and began producing the face masks, which match their sacred orange robes.

Footage from Wednesday (March 4) afternoon shows how all of the monks were busy sewing the orange, brown and yellow cotton into protective face masks.

Phar Roongroj Thaviro said that they are trying to make the masks the highest standard possible, so they could be worn and also delivered to surrounding temples in need.

He said: "The masks we produced are made by joining two pieces of cotton to create two layers of the fabric that will trap tiny pieces of dust and germs.

"After we finish sewing the masks, we wash them and heat them to kill germs before we packaged them into a plastic bags.

"Now that we have more than 100 finished masks that are ready to use, we will use them here and deliver them to the nearby temples that desperately need them.''

Thailand has 48 confirmed coronavirus cases including a British businessman and has today (March 6) moved to contain the spread by forcing arrivals from six high-risk countries to self-quarantine for 14 days.

The strict measures will see tourists forced to stay in their hotel room, report daily to the authorities and face fines or prison if they breach the rules.

Reuters reported that the quarantine announcement, published in the official Royal Gazette on Thursday, classified South Korea, China, Macao, Hong Kong, Italy and Iran as “dangerous communicable disease areas”.

This means that all arrivals from these places, including those that transit through them, will have to provide the authorities with their address and travel plan and be self-quarantined for 14 days.

“Thais and foreigners who came from these places will have to go through self-quarantine for 14 days at home or in a hotel room, where they have to report themselves to the authorities every day or officials will come to check on them,” health ministry spokesman Rungrueng Kitphati said.

Those that breached the quarantined will face 20,000 baht ($630) fine, Rungrueng said.

Many hospitals in Thailand are still waiting for masks. Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit questioned on Wednesday (March 4) why many hospitals have not yet received fresh supplies of protective face-masks.

He ordered the Public Health Ministry, Food and Drug Administration and Government Pharmaceutical Organisation to review distribution with the Department of Internal Trade to make sure all hospitals are adequately supplied.

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By: NewsFlare (80697.00)

Tags: Monks, sew, orange, faces, that, match, robes