Vietnam has shipped nearly half a million Dupont protective suits to the United States to help healthcare professionals there fight the coronavirus, according to the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi.
“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 added.
The U.S. embassy in Hanoi said a second shipment of 450,000 suits from Vietnam would follow "to address the urgent need for protective equipment for frontline providers responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States."
Vietnam is still working to keep COVID-19 under control domestically. It has had 270 people infected in total and has recorded no deaths as of today. That relative stability has allowed it to send medical aid to nations such as Laos, Spain and now the U.S. According to Reuters, it had also donated 550,000 masks to five European countries.
The aid stands in contrast to worries elsewhere the pandemic is encouraging protectionism, with nations trying to limit exports of medical supplies.
Americans are more familiar with buying "Made in Vietnam" garments and footwear, given the Southeast Asian nation's large manufacturing base. It is that manufacturing capacity that makes it possible for firms such as Dupont to speed up production of protective coveralls in Vietnam. According to the Voice of America, Dupont said it took 10 days to finish the protective suits and fly them from Hanoi to Dallas — a process that usually takes 90 days and includes transport on a container ship.