A charity group in Hanoi has made face mask buckles which will help reduce the pressure on the ears for the medical staff.
Phan Manh Ha, a member of the group, said this was an original idea from a boy in Canada. After seeing the idea, Ha and his group realised that this is a very useful idea for all medical staff that have to use face masks for a long period of time.
"Dr Vu Quang Hung from the National Institute of Hematology & Blood Transfusion is the one that sparked the idea that we should manufacture the buckles because since the outbreak started, the medical staff have also had to deal with ear pain too," Ha said.
The group redesigned the buckle a bit to fit Vietnamese head sizes. The buckles are made from silicone which is light and can be reused. "At first we wanted to use leather but after much considering, we came to the conclusion that leather is not easy to clean but easily stained by bacteria," Trang, another member said.
The cost for a silicone roll is around VND10m (USD426), not to mention the transportation cost from HCM City to Hanoi. However, after knowing that the group is doing a charity project, many people have helped to find cheaper sources. The group has made over 6,000 and donated them to the doctors on the front line. Each day, they can make about 5,000 buckles.
"Luckily, one of our members has a textile workshop. With the materials, we can speed up the manufacturing process," Trang said.
Some photos of the group producing the face mask buckles:
Doctors wearing face masks tied with the buckles
Each mould can make 12 buckles
Sterilized with an alcohol solution
The group has made buckles for regular face masks, the 3M and N95
The buckles are donated to hospitals and centres for disease control
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has given his consent to allow the export of medical masks, protective suits, and medical equipment as a means of providing other countries with the equipment necessary for epidemic prevention and control.
The Ministry of Health has ordered 48 producers nationwide to report their capacity to manufacture and provide medical masks for the nation's health sector no later than Thursday (April 16).