Authorities seek material sources for face mask production in other countries

Authorities have been seeking the source of materials for the production of face masks in South Africa, Egypt, and India to provide for domestic production to serve the fight against the spread of the new coronavirus.
A delegation from the Ministry of Health visits a medical face mask manufacturer. (Photo: SGGP)
A delegation from the Ministry of Health visits a medical face mask manufacturer. (Photo: SGGP)
Deputy Minister Truong Quoc Cuong and relevant departments of the Ministry of Health and the representatives of the Market Surveillance Agency, and the Health Environment Management Agency had a meeting with Hanoi-based face mask manufacturers. At the meeting, Deputy Minister Truong Quoc Cuong said that the novel coronavirus epidemic has been happening complicatedly, causing the demand for medical equipment to increase heavily so domestic medical equipment manufacturers need to speed up the production of medical face masks, protective clothing, and medical supplies. According to the representative of Tanaphar Joint Stock Company, its production scale reaches 70,000 face masks per day. From January 31 to now, its workers have been working at full capacity to meet the demand. The representative of Dai Uy Joint Stock Company said that as for the production of face masks, the most important thing is the filter. The company currently has around 600 kilograms of filter materials. If its production lines run at full capacity, it will produce around 100,000 face masks per day. And with such progress, the company will run out of materials in the next 10 days. Currently, the company has been looking for material sources in the South and its new partner promised that it will provide 5 tons of materials soon. The company still sells three-ply face masks at VND30,000 per box of 50 pieces as before. However, to prevent speculation, the company only sells 50 boxes of face masks at maximum to each pharmacy and 10 boxes at maximum to each person, said the Director of Dai Uy JSC. At the meeting, both companies said that their current biggest difficulty is seeking materials to maintain production. Therefore, the two companies hoped that they will receive support in the search for the source of materials to promote production. At the same time, they also asked for permission to adjust their selling prices following the prices of input materials. Deputy Minister Truong Quoc Cuong said that currently, the Ministry of Industry and Trade has been contacting to find material sources in South Africa, Egypt, and India to provide enough materials for domestic production. However, enterprises should also put more effort into the search for material suppliers, and at the same time strictly implement the supply, avoiding speculation and hoarding. Deputy Minister also said that the reports by domestic manufacturers showed that their face mask production scale is at about 3 million face masks per day. Therefore, with the current progress of production, the supply will be stable so there will no longer be speculation and a shortage of face masks soon.
In response to the situation that many pharmacies at ‘pharmaceutical market’ Hapulico at 83 Vu Trong Phung Street in Hanoi hung signs reading that they do not sell face masks and hand sanitizers and called other pharmacies not to sell face masks either on the social network, the representative of the Market Surveillance Agency of Hanoi said that the market surveillance authority will continue to inspect and slap penalties on the intentional acts of hoarding products, including face masks and hand sanitizers. Those pharmacies which still have goods in stock but do not sell purposely to hoard goods will be punished strictly.

At the same time, people can call police or market surveillance authority when they witness the acts of hoarding goods and raising the price of face masks.

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