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Vietnam ships 30 million masks to North America

Workers make face masks at a factory in the southern province of Long An. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

HANOI, Jun 7, 2020, VN Express. Thirty million medical face masks have been transported from Vietnam to North America, where the novel coronavirus continues to rampage, VN Express reported.

They were sent from Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi on Wednesday and Saturday to North American locations, logistics firm ITL Corporation said in a release on Saturday.

In May the company had shipped 1.5 million pieces of personal protective equipment to New York, the U.S.

Industry insiders say the U.S., which has so far recorded 112,000 coronavirus deaths, needs three billion face masks and is eyeing Vietnam as a supplier.

But Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry said last week that amid the surge in exports of face masks there are signs that low quality products are being produced to meet volume targets, threatening to give a bad name to made-in-Vietnam products.

“There are products that fail to meet international standards, and some producers use certificates from unauthorized organizations.”

Producers need to ensure the legitimacy of their certificates if they want to export to the E.U. and the U.S., it added.

In the year to April 19 Vietnam had exported 415.7 million face masks, with Japan being the largest buyer followed by South Korea, Germany, the U.S. and Hong Kong, according to Vietnam Customs.

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