Vietnam donates half a million face masks to five European countries

By Anh Ngoc   April 7, 2020 | 08:53 pm PT
Vietnam donates half a million face masks to five European countries
Vietnam's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs To Anh Dung (R) gives a box symbolizing a batch of face masks to Italian Ambassador to Vietnam Antonio Alessandro in Hanoi, April 7, 2020. Photo courtesy of Vietnam's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Vietnam has handed over 550,000 antibacterial cloth masks to France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the U.K. to support their Covid-19 fight.

A ceremony to mark the donation was held Tuesday wherein Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs To Anh Dung symbolically handed over the made-in-Vietnam masks to the ambassadors of the five nations.

A Foreign Ministry statement said that in the spirit of strategic partnership and traditional friendship, Vietnam has devoted part of its resources to helping European countries, so that they can have more means to protect people's health and overcome the current difficult period, when the Covid-19 pandemic has been having "very serious impacts" on the continent.

Europe has emerged as the epicenter of the pandemic alongside the U.S., with Italy leading the world in the number of deaths at over 17,000, followed by Spain with more than 14,000. The U.S. is third with more than 12,800 deaths, followed by France with more than 10,300, U.K. more than 6,000 and Germany more than 2,000.

Dung said in this global health crisis, no single country can effectively deal with the spread of the disease, and international cooperation and strengthened solidarity are important factors in protecting the health and ensuring safety of the people.

All nations are beholden to contribute to minimizing the enormous impacts of Covid-19, he noted.

"Vietnam is always ready to cooperate closely, exchange experiences, and join hands with other countries to implement necessary measures in accordance with bilateral and multilateral frameworks such as the ASEAN - EU, the G20, and the United Nations with a strong determination to soon repel and control the pandemic," Dung added.

Ambassadors of the five nations and Pier Giorgio Aliberti, head of the Delegation of the European Union to Vietnam, expressed their gratitude to the Vietnamese government and people.

They and their nations have been touched by what Vietnam, which has also been hit by the pandemic, has done to help foreign nationals overcome the Covid-19 disease, the envoys said.

They also pledged that their nations will ensure tight cooperation with Vietnam in all activities to prevent and fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

The pandemic has claimed more than 82,000 lives as it reached 209 countries and territories.

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