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According to a survey carried out by YouGov, 95% of Thais continually wear face masks in public, followed closely by Vietnam (94%), the Philippines (93%), Malaysia (89%) and Indonesia (87%) – leaving behind Singapore (66%).
While masks were subject to panic buying to the point of shortage when the outbreak first started in Thailand, there has been a significant increase in availability over recent months. Yet facial masks spawn their own fashion.
Read: Bangkok Virus Shutdowns Ease, But Face Masks Still On
"Some people have a lot of masks, with some patterns. Let those be a few colorful spots that brighten up our days, "said Taweesin Visanuyothin, Center spokesperson for the COVID-19 Situation Administration, during the daily briefing announcing new rates of infection.
YouGov's poll, a UK-based market research firm, was conducted by YouGov and Imperial College London between March 30 and April 27 to 12,999 respondents for compensation from Singapore, Malaysia , Indonesia , Thailand (2,024 respondents), the Philippines , and Vietnam.
The online interviews were chosen to be representative by age, class, income category and level of education. In exchange for reimbursement the respondents participated. The amount of error is plus or minus 3 per cent.
Elle Thailand notes that several Thai fashion brands are now producing their own branded masks which cost about 300 to 600, but they can find cheaper ones from smaller brands.
Since the start of the outbreak, Jarauyporn has been thinking about what she could do as a clothing seller amid the shortage of masks, and she started making masks from the satin she used to make dresses for 290 baht each.
"I don't know if everyone is interested in fashion masks but if something is absolutely necessary in the future masks, so much so that you can't go anywhere without one, then I think people are going to choose products that make them happy," Jarauyporn said.
86 percent of all six Asian nations surveyed said they often or frequently wear face masks while leaving the house – compared to a response of 15 percent in the UK, 44 percent in France and 48 percent in the US.