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Police Hand out Free Masks; Pharmacies Fined for Hiking Prices

As worries continue to spread like a virus and face masks sell out in record time, Vietnamese police have been handing out free masks and clamping down on pharmacies.

Vietnam continues to fight against the Wuhan coronavirus and, to aid this battle, police have given out 75,000 free face masks to Hanoians, VnExpress reports. The masks were handed out at numerous public spaces across the capital, where members of the public were also offered hand sanitizer.

Meanwhile, police have clamped down on pharmacies seeking to profit from people’s fear. A VnExpress video showed how the price of face masks have risen tenfold in some stores over the last week, with road-side vendors setting up just to sell masks for exorbitant prices.

Authorities responded by fining over 1,000 pharmacies and threatening to revoke the business license of those who keep breaking the rules.

In other news, Hanoi has closed public schools for the week, while more than 60 universities have cancelled classes. Last Sunday, the Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee announced that all K-12 public schools will remain closed this week, with classes set to resume on February 10.

As of today, there are 10 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Vietnam, although a further 68 people have been quarantined for testing while extra hospitals are being prepared in both Hanoi and Saigon to cope with wide-scale outbreaks if they do occur.

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