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Feb 03, 2020 / 11:28

Vietnam face mask producers want to give a hand to nCoV prevention

Most enterprises are willing to boost production amid the spread of the coronavirus epidemic.

Vietnamese enterprises consider the production of medical face masks as their social responsibility and are committed to not increasing prices to meet the public demand in preventing the spread of the new coronavirus (nCoV), according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT).

 Representatives of MoIT in a meeting with Dong Xuan Textile. Source: MoIT. 

Most enterprises are willing to boost the production of face masks, stated the MoIT after a visits to a number of enterprises.

In a meeting with a working group of the MoIT on February 2, Tran Viet, CEO of Dong Xuan Textile Company, said the company has strong expertise in producing products made from antibiotics fibers and exporting to Japan.

Viet said the company’s current production capacity of face masks is 50,000 pieces per day and could expand the production to over 300,000.

Babu, a fashion company specialized in kids’ fashion, added it is expanding production chain of face masks to meet domestic demand.

 Face masks production at Babu company. Source: MoIT. 

Local producers expected more supports from the MoIT in accessing input materials and guidance from the Ministry of Health in terms of technical specifications for production of face masks.

According to the MoIT, Vietnam currently has 38 enterprises producing three-layer face masks with daily production of 1.24 million units, and two enterprises capable of making N95 face masks with a capacity of 32,000 pieces per day, which are sufficient to meet domestic demands.

Amid a possible outbreak of the new deadly coronavirus (nCoV) in Hanoi, locals are rushing to stockpile medical masks and hand sanitizers, causing prices of these products to soar in recent days.

Notably, single-use medical masks with prices of VND30,000 – 40,000 (US$1.29 – 1.73) per box before the epidemic have nearly tripled to VND80,000 – 120,000 (US$3.45 – 5.18). Others brands of active charcoal face masks such as Kissy, Kari Bon, Kitty, Anvilife, or Leo also witnessed price hikes from VND10,000 – 20,000 (US$0.43 – 0.86) apiece to VND30,000 – 60,000 (US$1.29 – 2.59).

As of present, the Vietnam Directorate of Market Surveillance informed the agency has fined 85 cases of driving up prices of face masks with VND88.7 million (US$3,833) and confiscated 4,800 face masks.

In Quang Ninh province, the authority seized 200,000 face masks which were about to be illegally exported to other countries.

Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Chung on January 30 urged city agencies to secure between 15 and 20 million medical masks in stock to cope with the possible outbreak of nCoV.

For a city of eight million people, Chung requested the municipal Department of Health to check the production of medical face masks to ensure sufficient quantity. In case of disease outbreak, the masks would be delivered for free to local people.

Shortage of facial masks currently is a common issue on global stage, as people around the world are stockpiling these products to protect themselves from the deadly virus, depleting online malls and store shelves from California to Beijing, Bloomberg reported.

Across China, Hong Kong and Singapore, people lined up for hours at stores and pharmacies hoping to secure dwindling supplies.