Taiwan uses National Identity System for mask purchase

Some passengers in Taipei Main Station were wearing masks responding the Novel Corona virus outbreak. (Indonesia Window)

Jakarta (Indonesia Window) – Wearing health masks in crowded public places can be a preventive way in dealing with the new coronavirus outbreak.

Due to the rise in the use of health masks, the need of the product is increasing, and its price is rising, making scarcity on the markets.


To ensure that everyone can buy health masks, while preventing the collection of the product, the Taiwanese government has implemented an Original Identity System for Purchasing Masks since February 6, 2020, according to a Taipei Economic and Trade Office (TETO) statement received here on Thursday.

With this system, everyone who buys a medical mask at a pharmacy or a clinic in all Taiwan’s regions must show a national health insurance card. Purchases are also limited to everyone.

The last number on the ID card printed on the insurance card shows when someone is allowed to buy a mask.


For example, the holders of cards with odd numbers can buy masks on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and those with even numbers can buy on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday every week.

Meanwhile, on Sunday everyone can buy masks because the odd and even number rules do not apply.

At present, an adult person can buy three pieces of masks, and children can buy five sheets per week on certain days for a normal price of 5 NT dollars (around 2,000 rupiahs).


In the future, the number of health mask purchases per person per week will be raised following national production which is expected to increase.

The purchasing system based on the identity number makes Taiwan a model followed by other countries including South Korea which implemented it on March 9, 2020.

Information Technology


The success of the original identity system for purchasing masks in Taiwan depends on a comprehensive national health insurance system and big data on the Cloud computing system.

The number of daily mask sales in various places can be reported online via the internet at any time. Thus, the government can find out which pharmacies are lacking or excessive in supplies of masks, so they can immediately update the distribution in each location.

The Taiwanese government and the private sector have also developed many applications for the purchase of masks.


As long as people use cellular phones and are connected to the Internet, they can check the supplies of masks at all pharmacies before buying.

The Taiwanese government is currently exploring the launch of the Original Identity System 2.0 for Mask Purchases, which uses more accurate big data analysis in calculating the distribution of masks in various places.

In the future, several masks will be sold through the Internet to facilitate workers who cannot take time off to go to the pharmacies.


Reporting by Indonesia Window

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