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Pollution masks help Vietnam ward off coronavirus

Longtime environmental challenge brings unlikely upside in pandemic era

Hanoi residents regularly wore masks outside because of pollution even before the coronavirus arrived in Vietnam.   © Reuters

HANOI -- Now a ubiquitous sight worldwide, face masks were a fact of life in Hanoi long before the coronavirus outbreak and have been a major contributor to Vietnam's success in curbing the pandemic.

"I've always worn masks whenever I go outside," one Hanoi resident said.

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