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Ho Chi Minh City lifts blockade for essential retail outlets amid COVID-19 spread

Ho Chi Minh City lifts blockade for essential retail outlets amid COVID-19 spread

Saturday, July 03, 2021, 11:06 GMT+7
Ho Chi Minh City lifts blockade for essential retail outlets amid COVID-19 spread
This image shows shoppers at a supermarket in Nha Be District, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tu Trung / Tuoi Tre

Vietnam’s business hub Ho Chi Minh City, which has recently topped the country in new daily COVID-19 infections, has allowed many retailers of essential goods to resume operation with strict epidemic prevention rules applied. 

After days of suspension, many traditional markets, supermarkets and shops in the city have welcomed their customers again since Friday, after being confirmed by competent agencies as meeting epidemic prevention and control requirements.

Before business resumption to provide essential goods for the public, these outlets have disinfected their premises and taken other safety precautions under instructions of local health authorities.

Employees currently working at the re-opened retail points are those who are not related to any previously confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases, or those who have tested negative for coronavirus.

Within Friday, about 10 outlets of essential goods, reopened to serve the shopping demand of customers.

A representative of MM Mega Market An Phu Center in Thu Duc, a municipal city of Ho Chi Minh City, said the facility resumed operation on Friday, two days after lockdown due to COVID-19 outbreaks.

The supermarket received not so many shoppers on the re-opening day, while prices of goods at An Phu have been kept stable, even for commodities in high demand, said Nguyen Duc Toan, executive director of the supermarket.

An Phu is trying its best to fulfill online purchase orders that have soared recently, Toan added.

AEON Vietnam, another large retailer, also received customers again at the AEON Mall Tan Phu Celadon in Tan Phu District on the same day, after several days of suspension. 

Similarly, many outlets of Vinmart and Co.opmart, as well as five convenience stores of Saigon Co.op, Bach Hoa Xanh and Satrafood, resumed business on Friday.

By the end of Friday, 105 traditional markets, including one wholesale market, and 65 supermarkets and convenience stores had been shut down temporarily due to the COVID-19 impacts, according to statistics of the municipal Department of Industry and Trade.

In a report issued on Saturday morning, the Ministry of Health confirmed 239 new COVID-19 cases, all domestically detected, of which 215 cases were recorded in Ho Chi Minh City.

The new cases have taken the country’s tally of patients to 18,360, including 7,395 recoveries and 84 deaths, since early 2020.

The city, where nearly 5,000 COVID-19 cases have so far been confirmed, has recently led the country in daily new infections, with hundreds of new patients reported every day.

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Vinh Tho / Tuoi Tre News

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