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Raincoat factory produces face masks for free amidst COVID-19 epidemic in Vietnam

Raincoat factory produces face masks for free amidst COVID-19 epidemic in Vietnam

Thursday, March 12, 2020, 12:31 GMT+7
Raincoat factory produces face masks for free amidst COVID-19 epidemic in Vietnam
A woman collects finished face masks at a raincoat factory in Dong Anh District, Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

The owner of a raincoat factory in Hanoi is doing her best to help Vietnam battle the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic by producing face masks and offering them to local citizens for free.

The demand for face masks in Vietnam has skyrocketed since the country confirmed its first case of COVID-19 in late January, causing a mad scramble amongst local residents to scoop up masks in bulk from pharmacies and convenience stores.

Le Thi Tham, the owner of a raincoat factory in Hai Boi Commune, Dong Anh District, Hanoi, is hoping that converting part of her factory’s production line into a face mask assembly area will help quell the country's demand. 

Tham’s switch to face mask production, however, is not profiteering. Instead, she is offering her face masks to the public for free – marking her own contribution in the battle to stem COVID-19.

Le Thi Tham (right) inspects the quality of face masks produced at her raincoat factory in Dong Anh District, Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

Le Thi Tham (right) inspects the quality of face masks produced at her raincoat factory in Dong Anh District, Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

Purchasing the equipment needed to produce the masks, along with the material and other expenses, set Tham back over VND200 million (US$8,500), but in her mind, that is a small price to pay to help protect her fellow Vietnamese.

“I feel very happy that my work can help our society and the people around me,” Tham told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.

According to Tham, the face masks produced by her factory had been approved by the country’s Quality Assurance and Testing Center 1 before being put into mass production. 

Her factory currently employs 22 staff members to help churn out 3,000 masks per day.

Despite having to work overtime, the staff say they are happy to know their work is going toward the protection of locals, especially students who will soon be returning to school after a long break due to the epidemic.

Tham's initiative has received a lot of public support, particularly from members of the Hai Boi Women’s Union who often volunteer to help Tham with simple tasks in the production line, such as sterilizing and packaging the finished products.

Workers produce face masks at a raincoat factory in Dong Anh District, Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

Workers produce face masks at a raincoat factory in Dong Anh District, Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

A worker sews a face mask at a raincoat factory in Dong Anh District, Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

A worker sews a face mask at a raincoat factory in Dong Anh District, Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

Two workers cut a piece of fabric to make face masks at a raincoat factory in Dong Anh District, Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

Two workers cut a piece of fabric to make face masks at a raincoat factory in Dong Anh District, Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

Workers produce face masks at a raincoat factory in Dong Anh District, Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

Workers produce face masks at a raincoat factory in Dong Anh District, Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

Members of Hai Boi Women’s Union help package finished face masks at a raincoat factory in Dong Anh District, Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

Members of the Hai Boi Women’s Union help package finished face masks at a raincoat factory in Dong Anh District, Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

A member of Hai Boi Women’s Union helps separate face masks at a raincoat factory in Dong Anh District, Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

A member of the Hai Boi Women’s Union helps separate face masks at a raincoat factory in Dong Anh District, Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

A member of Hai Boi Women’s Union helps sterilize face masks at a raincoat factory in Dong Anh District, Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

A member of the Hai Boi Women’s Union helps sterilize face masks at a raincoat factory in Dong Anh District, Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

A worker packages finished face masks at a raincoat factory in Dong Anh District, Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

A worker packages finished face masks at a raincoat factory in Dong Anh District, Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

Le Thi Tham inspects the quality of face masks produced at her raincoat factory in Dong Anh District, Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

Le Thi Tham inspects the quality of face masks produced at her raincoat factory in Dong Anh District, Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

Le Thi Tham gives away free face masks outside her raincoat factory in Dong Anh District, Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

Le Thi Tham gives away free face masks outside her raincoat factory in Dong Anh District, Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

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