A bus on Saturday caught the eyes of passers-by at the Ho Chi Minh City Youth Culture House thanks to its outstanding yellow color as well as the free face masks it automatically released.
The bus, which was 7m in length and 3.1m in width, carried the message of “Mang khau trang – Don Tet an toan”, which means “Wear a mask – Have a safe Tet holiday (Vietnamese Lunar New Year which begins on February 12 this year).”
The vehicle is equipped with two machines that automatically generate face masks thanks to a sensor system.
Recipients only need to put their hands under the machines to receive a pack of two antibacterial and fluid resistant fabric face masks.
Their hands will also be sanitized before taking face masks.
The face mask bus is the idea of Pham Quang Anh, director of Dony Garment Company – based Dony International Joint Stock Company, who said he cherished it since the pandemic hit Vietnam last year.
It took Pham months and money to bring his idea to life.
“I wanted to contribute a little bit to the community in the hope that we can win over the epidemic soon,” he told Tuoi Tre (Youth) Newspaper.
Ho Thi An, 37, a garment worker at Tan Tao Industrial Zone who was about to return to her hometown in the central province of Nghe An for Tet, was among hundreds of recipients on Saturday morning.
She said she had bought a box of 50 medical masks advertised to be “super-antibacterial” with four layers at the price of the only VND25,000 (US$1.1) from a sidewalk stall in front of her company.
“I’m worried about its quality, even wondering if it’s toxic with such a cheap price, but I can’t afford those too expensive,” she expressed.
“I was told that the free fabric masks I have just received can be reused after being washed.
“They look durable, so I think they’re of good quality,” she added. “Receiving good face masks makes me feel safer for my long trip.”
Aside from the Ho Chi Minh City Youth Culture House, the bus is expected to make its arrivals at Mien Dong Bus Station in Binh Thanh District, Mien Tay Bus Station in Binh Tan District as well as industrial parks and export processing zones in the city.
Anh said he has plans to release more than 100,000 antibacterial face masks as well as is willing to bring his bus to pandemic-hit and remote areas if he has enough funding.
“If there are more helping hands from the society, we can build a ‘mask bank’ with no limit in quantity and free quality masks to people in need,” he expressed his hope.