More than VND324 billion (US$13.8 million) worth of financial support has been given to nearly 279,000 people affected by the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) epidemic in Ho Chi Minh City.
Approximately 278,700 residents in the southern metropolis had received the financial assistance as of Tuesday, the municipal Department of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs confirmed on Wednesday.
Accordingly, the money has been handed to over 103,500 people of poor households, more than 32,500 people with meritorious services to the revolution, and about 120,000 residents under the social protection program.
A total of 18,455 lottery ticket sellers in the city received aid of VND750,000 ($32) each.
The labor department has proposed support worth VND1 million ($42) each for 6,685 other lottery ticket sellers.
The agency has also prepared cost estimates for a plan to provide assistance to about 284,000 people who are local street vendors, garbage and scrap collectors, porters, ‘cyclo’ drivers, and those who lost their jobs to the epidemic.
The procedures for this group of individuals will take longer as they need confirmation from ward-level authorities that their yearly income is lower than VND36 million ($1,540), said Le Minh Tan, director of the city’s labor department.
About 40 percent of people who were made unemployed by COVID-19 in Ho Chi Minh City hails from other provinces, thus needing confirmation from authorities in their hometown, Tan explained.
The municipal administration has allocated VND640 billion ($27.4 million) to district-leveled authorities to implement the support program, of which over VND324 billion ($13.8 million) has been handed to local residents.
About VND850 billion ($36.4 million) will be further earmarked to support people affected by the pandemic in the city.
This is part of a support package worth VND62 trillion ($2.6 billion) launched by the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs to aid citizens suffering from the negative impacts of COVID-19 throughout the country.
Approximately 20 million people in Vietnam are eligible to receive the financial assistance, according to Labor Minister Dao Ngoc Dung.
The novel coronavirus has infected over 4.43 million people and killed more than 298,200 around the globe as of Thursday afternoon, according to Ministry of Health statistics.
Vietnam’s COVID-19 tally is now at 288, with 252 having recovered, according to official government statistics. No deaths from the disease have been reported in the country.