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Face masks highly sought-after in Ho Chi Minh City over new coronavirus fear

Monday, January 27, 2020, 18:07 GMT+7
Face masks highly sought-after in Ho Chi Minh City over new coronavirus fear
A man is pictured wearing a face mask outdoors in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre/ Tu Trung

Drugstores in Ho Chi Minh City are making a killing from face masks as demand rises, fueled by the fear of a new coronavirus epidemic from China.

Several local pharmacies see 3M anti-dust masks completely sold out, according to a quick survey by Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reporters.

Meanwhile, medical masks which fetch VND35,000 (US$1.5) a box are also in demand.

According to a staff member of a pharmacy on Hai Ba Trung Street, there has been a spike in the number of people buying face masks of all kinds during the ongoing Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday.

Normally, the place only sells seven to eight boxes of medical masks a day, but now the number is a hundred times higher.

People come to buy medical face masks at a pharmacy in Ho Chi Minh City's District 4. Photo: Tuoi Tre/ Tu Trung

People come to buy medical face masks at a pharmacy in District 4, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre / Tu Trung

On social media, netizens have also taught one another how to wear medical masks in appropriate ways advised by experts.

It is also not hard to see people wearing face masks while sitting in a coffee shop, walking on the sidewalk or hanging out for fun.

“I’m not sure how the novel coronavirus epidemic is now, but I told my whole family to wear face masks whenever they are in public places, and to wash their hands, feet and faces carefully when they get home,” Thanh Tam, a local, told Tuoi Tre while taking her child to Nguyen Van Binh Book Street in District 1.

A group of youngsters in Ho Chi Minh City are seen wearing face masks while sitting at a local coffee shop on the night of January 26, 2020. Photo: Tuoi Tre/ Tu Trung

A group of youngsters in Ho Chi Minh City are seen wearing face masks while sitting in a coffee shop on the night of January 26, 2020. Photo: Tuoi Tre / Tu Trung

A pneumonia outbreak, caused by a new strain of the coronavirus family that caused SARS and MERS, first surfaced in Wuhan City in December 2019.

The virus has killed at least 81 and infected more than 2,700 people in China while spreading to the U.S., France, Australia, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, and others.

In Vietnam, 39 patients are being isolated and under observation for the new coronavirus, including 13 in the northern region, two in the southern region, and 24 in the central region.

There is currently no Vietnamese citizen infected with the disease, Dang Quang Tan, deputy head of the Department of Preventive Medicine under the Ministry of Health, confirmed at a Sunday conference regarding the new coronavirus epidemic.

Walkers wear face mask outdoor in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre/ Tu Trung

Walkers wear face masks outdoors in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre / Tu Trung

Commuters travel with face mask on in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre/ Tu Trung

Commuters travel with face masks on in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre / Tu Trung

Commuters travel with face mask on in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre/ Tu Trung

Commuters travel with face masks on in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre / Tu Trung

Two people communicate through face masks on the street in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre/ Tu Trung

Two people communicate through face masks on the street in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre / Tu Trung
A staff is seen wearing face mask while working at Nguyen Van Binh book street in Ho Chi Minh City's District 1. Photo: Tuoi Tre/ Tu Trung
A staff member is seen wearing a face mask while working at Nguyen Van Binh Book Street in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre / Tu Trung

A woman and a child are seen wearing face mask on the street in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre/ Tu Trung

A woman and a child are seen wearing face masks on the street in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre / Tu Trung

A woman is seen wearing face mask while taking photos with outdoor Tet (Vietnamese Lunar New Year) decorations in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre/Tu Trung

Women are seen wearing face masks while taking photos with outdoor Tet (Lunar New Year) decorations in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre / Tu Trung

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