Coronavirus outbreak: Vietnam boosts production of face masks

The Ministry of Industry and Trade has directed Vietnamese commercial affair offices abroad to connect with businesses to search for raw materials for face masks production in Vietnam.
Coronavirus outbreak: Vietnam boosts production of face masks ảnh 1A mask production line of TNG Invesment and Trade Co in the northern province of Thai Nguyen (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNS/VNA) -
The Ministry of Industry and Trade has directed Vietnamese commercial affair offices abroad to connect with businesses to search for raw materials for face masks production in Vietnam.

Deputy Minister Dang Hoang An made the statement at a meeting with the national steering committee for the novel coronavirus prevention and control on February 4.

The ministry had worked with the Ministry of Health to implement solutions to respond to the deadly outbreak, An said.

"Prices for raw materials to produce face masks are increasing, but we still have to buy them to fight against the epidemic,” he said.

The deputy minister also instructed textile and garment enterprises to focus on manufacturing masks from antibacterial fabrics, which are washable and reusable but still meet requirements of epidemic prevention.

“In emergency cases, if required, these companies should stop exporting garment products to focus on producing antibacterial masks," he noted.

“Production capacity may reach 30 million products per day in this case,” he added.

The deputy minister also said the Ministry of Industry and Trade had implemented many solutions to prevent the hoarding of goods, increasing prices and smuggling of masks.

Statistics from Lang Son Department of Customs showed its border gate customs office cleared procedures for exporting 3.9 million Vietnamese medical face masks worth 92,137 USD to China from January 1 to February 3 this year.

Face masks produced by Dong Xuan Knitting Company (Doximex) began being sold in Hanoi at 5pm on February 4. The products are sold at Vinatex showrooms at 25 Ba Trieu and 57B Phan Chu Trinh streets 70,000 VND for 10 masks.

It is expected the company will supply the market from 300,000 to 400,000 products per day in the near future.

Additionally, TNG Investment and Trading JSC in Thai Nguyen province has sent a sample of a nanometer fabric mask to the National Institute of Medical Devices and Construction to apply for a licence.

If approved this week, TNG will provide one million masks for the province.

The current domestic daily production scale was about three million masks on average, said Deputy Minister of Health Truong Quoc Cuong.

The deputy minister worked with companies in Hanoi on producing and supplying equipment for the prevention of coronavirus on February 3.

To help cope with the demand for epidemic prevention equipment, the Ministry of Health and related units had organised a working visit to urge domestic producers to accelerate production and supply of medical masks, protective clothing and medical materials, said the deputy minister.

Tanaphar Joint Stock Company said the production scale of the enterprise reached 70,000 masks per day.

The company’s workers worked at full capacity for from January 30 to accelerate production to meet the needs of the people.

Le Xuan Hien, director of Dai Uy Joint Stock Company, said the most important part of the masks was the filter.

The company still had about 600 kilogrammes of filter material, if the machines operated for three shifts per day, the production scale would be nearly 100,000 masks daily, he said.

However, if this progress was continued, the company would run out of raw materials for production in 10 days, he noted.

“The company still sells three-layer masks at 30,000 VND per box including 50 masks as before without raising prices,” said the director.

Both production companies said that the biggest difficulty now was finding sources of raw materials to ensure production.

Therefore, the companies expected to be supported to find raw materials to increase production capacity at full capacity. They also proposed to adjust price following the increasing price of input materials./.

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