The government is expected to complete the distribution of face masks to all households in the country in the fight against the new coronavirus in mid-June, a health ministry official said Thursday.
The official offered the projection at a meeting of the health, welfare and labor committee of the House of Councilors.
The ministry initially aimed to finish delivering masks within May. The program calls for distributing two cloth masks to each household.
The delay is due to strengthened quality checks after problems, such as stains, were found in some masks, according to the official.
The ministry has so far sent some 32 million of the 126 million masks planned under the program.
According to data released on the ministry’s website, Tokyo is the only prefecture where the distribution is believed to have been completed as of Wednesday.
The ministry said the nationwide distribution rate will likely reach 59 percent on Wednesday.