Offering all of its products gratis, a grocery store in Loc Ha Town of Vietnam's Ha Tinh Province aims to provide support for local residents living under the coronavirus-induced lockdown mandate.
The store, located in Thach Bang Market, was founded by the chapter of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union in Loc Ha Town, Dang Thai Son, its secretary, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Wednesday.
According to Son, the initiative stems from the Youth Union chapter’s wish to share the burden of poor, working-class residents whose lives have been upended by the COVID-19 epidemic.
Since early June, several infection clusters have been detected in Loc Ha Town, forcing 17 neighborhoods to be locked down.
Since then, locals have had difficulty traveling to and from work, as well as accessing essential products.
“We erected this store in the center of the town to help our neighbors get access to groceries and necessities,” Son explained.
The shelves at the store are stocked with fresh produce, as well as other essential products, including face masks, disinfectant, soap, and toothpaste.
|Locals pick up complimentary groceries from a zero-cost grocery store in Loc Ha Town, Ha Tinh Province, Vietnam. Photo: Hoang Luong / Tuoi Tre|
Volunteers from the Youth Union chapter have also shown up to ensure adherence to COVID-19 prevention guidelines in the store.
“The zero-cost store operates on a core principle: take it if you’re in need, leave it for others if you’re doing well,” Son stated.
The Youth Union chapter is planning to keep the store running even after the epidemic wanes.
Ha Tinh has recorded 84 infections, including 58 in treatment in the province and 28 transferred to the central-level Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Hanoi, since the fourth resurgence of the coronavirus epidemic in Vietnam transpired on April 27.
Vietnam had documented 14,116 COVID-19 cases as of Thursday afternoon, with 5,684 recoveries and 70 deaths, according to the Ministry of Health.
The country has recorded 10,820 local infections in 45 provinces and cities in this fourth wave.