Vietnam gives import duty exemption for medical masks and materials 

February 06, 2020 | 11:36
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Vietnam is considering giving an exemption from import duty for medical masks, materials for local mask production, and water disinfection to further efforts to prevent and fight against the coronavirus outbreak.
vietnam gives import duty exemption for medical masks and materials
The idea of giving import duty exemption was floated at the government press briefing yesterday

Deputy Minister of Finance Vu Thi Mai said at yesterday's government press briefing that masks, materials for local mask production, and water disinfection are in short supply. The government has asked the Ministry of Finance to work with other ministries to exempt these products from import duty.

“We are working with the Ministry of Industry and Trade on compiling a concrete list of product codes to receive the exemption to facilitate businesses in customs clearance. On February 6, we will receive comments from the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Health (MoH) before submitting the list to the prime minister for approval,” Mai added.

Recently, a working group of the MoH led by Deputy Minister Truong Quoc Cuong visited manufacturers of gauze masks, protective apparel, and medical devices in Hanoi to urge production to ensure a plentiful supply for the prevention and fight against the coronavirus outbreak.

Local manufacturers reported a grievous lack of input materials for mask production. At present, the local production capacity of gauze masks is about three million units a day on average.

3M, a famous gauze mask brand for which Vietnamese people and those in high-risk areas have been hunting for in recent days, is increasing the global production of respiratory protection products as quickly as possible in response to the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak.

“In China and around the world, 3M is working with customers, distributors, the government, and medical officials to help get supplies where they are needed. As a leader in personal protective equipment, 3M is committed to supporting the public health and governmental response to the coronavirus to help protect and treat people,” a representative of 3M told VIR.

“3M has donated medical supplies, including respirators, surgical masks, and hand sanitizer in affected areas in China, and we will continue to work with our humanitarian aid partners such as Wuhan Red Cross, Direct Relief, and MAP International to donate supplies.”

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have not made any recommendations for personal protective equipment (PPE) use, including respirators, by the general public. Healthcare workers are advised to wear PPE in certain situations.

According to the latest update from the Ministry of Health, as of 7:30 am February 6, the epidemic was detected in 27 countries with the total number of cases of infection reaching 28,276, including over 28,000 in China. The deadly virus killed 565 people, including 563 in China, and two outside mainland China.

The coronavirus was detected in 258 patients outside of China, including 10 in Vietnam.

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By Bich Thuy

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