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Vietnam Ships Face Masks, Protective Suits to Help Europe, US Fight Coronavirus

In an impressive bit of medical gear diplomacy, Vietnam has sent domestically produced masks and protective suits to a number of countries.

Vietnam News reports that the country will donate 550,000 anti-bacterial face masks to the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and Spain. These are currently the hardest-hit countries in Europe by the coronavirus pandemic.

At a ceremony in Hanoi on Tuesday, Deputy Foreign Minister To Anh Dung said: "Strengthening international cooperation and unity is an important factor in the protection of people's health and well-being and in efforts to minimize the impacts of the novel coronavirus."

Dung also asserted that no one country can confront the outbreak on its own.

Meanwhile, yesterday Vietnam shipped 450,000 protective suits produced domestically by DuPont to the United States, Reuters reports.

The US Embassy in Hanoi said in a statement that the first shipment had arrived in America's Strategic National Stockpile. "This shipment will help protect healthcare professionals working on the front lines against Covid-19 in the United States and demonstrates the strength of the U.S.-Vietnam partnership," it went on.

President Donald Trump took a brief break from his daily rouine to thank "our friends in Vietnam" on Twitter after the shipment arrived in Dallas, Texas.

At the time of writing, the US, Spain, Italy, Germany and France have the five highest numbers of known Covid-19 cases, while Italy, Spain, the US, France and the UK have the highest death tolls.

[Photo via Bao Quoc Te]