Face masks distributed via vending machines in Taiwan

Face masks are flying off the automated shelves of vending machines in Taipei as people look to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

"When a buyer is certified, allowed to buy and has paid, the buyer has to obtain the masks," said Lu Hsin-ke, a commissioner in the IT department of the Taipei City Government

"Automatic mask vending machines can implement this whole procedure to make it even simpler with less or no workforce and more efficiency. They can also lower the risks of infection via human contact."

Making the masks available via vending machines also helps lighten the workload of pharmacists, who were spending time distributing them.

The vending machines were launched earlier this month. One of the private companies involved in the project said 2,500 masks were sold in two days.