Aug 08, 2020 / 09:14

'Face mask ATM' operated in Ho Chi Minh City amid Covid-19 resurgence

The Hanoitimes - The launch of the face mask dispenser is based on the experience of the machine that releases rice in the previous wave of Covid-19 outbreak.

A face mask dispenser, named face mask ATM, started operating in Ho Chi Minh City on August 6, providing citizens with free face masks as Covid-19 cases are surging Vietnam.

 A face mask ATM is operated in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tin Tuc

The face mask ATM either gives out one single face mask that is washable and reusable 20-30 times or a batch of several face masks that can each be reused 3-4 times.

The ATM runs from 10:00 to 16:00 at 204B Vuon Lai street, Tan Phu district. Similar dispensers are expected to be installed in other locations across the city. 

The machine is an initiative launched by Hoang Tuan Anh, a local resident who launched the first automatic rice dispenser in Ho Chi Minh City, popularly known as rice ATM for needy people affected by the pandemic during the social distancing period in April. His idea was later replicated in many other localities nationwide.

The rice ATM initiative by Vietnamese entrepreneurs made headlines in international media such as Reuters and CNN.

Currently, Tuan Anh has raised 8,000 face masks through donations and expects to continue receiving support from the community.

He plans to put the rice ATM into operation also in Danang, now a Covid-19-hit area with 220 active infections and eight deaths.

In May, some lecturers and students of Lam Dong Medical College, Dalat city, launched a free “face mask ATM” to help local people in the city fight the Covid-19 pandemic. The machine was placed in front of the school’s gate during one week and is equipped with antiseptic solution dispenser for hand washing.