Market watch forces check a medical equipment store in northern Bắc Giang Province. — VNA/VNS Photo Đồng Thuý
HÀ NỘI — Authorities have fined 30 medical equipment manufacturers nearly VNĐ65 million (US$2,800) for violating sales regulations for medical supplies used to fight the novel coronoavirus disease (COVID-19).
As many as 228,000 medical masks with unclear origin were confiscated during inspections on Saturday, reported the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s General Department of Market Surveillance.
From January 31 to February 15, a total of 4,419 cases were dealt with nationwide.
Minister of Finance Đinh Tiến Dũng last Friday signed Decision 155/QĐ-BTC with articles allowing import tax exemptions on medical masks, hand sanitiser, mask materials, disinfectant and protective clothing in an effort to fight the outbreak of COVID-19.
The decision took effect on February 7 and will last until the outbreak ends.
The Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group (Vinatex) is trying to produce around 6 million antibacterial face masks in February to meet increasing demand.
The group is also striving to provide 10 tonnes of fabric every day for garment companies to make medical masks (equivalent to 10 million masks per day).
Due to unpredictable developments, Vinatex will continue to give priority to making face masks.
The group and its member companies expect to provide nearly 12 million face masks for the market in March.
The World Health Organisation has declared the COVID-19 outbreak a public health emergency of international concern. To stop the virus from spreading, people are advised to wear face masks and wash their hands with santiniser frequently. — VNS