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Ho Chi Minh City reopens selected wet markets

Ho Chi Minh City reopens selected wet markets

Friday, August 06, 2021, 17:55 GMT+7
Ho Chi Minh City reopens selected wet markets
A grocery stall in Ho Chi Minh City is equipped with transparent panels. Photo: N.Tri / Tuoi Tre

Ho Chi Minh City authorities have recently reopened several traditional markets after shutting down most of them to stall the spread of the coronavirus in mid-July.

On Wednesday, some wet markets, including Nguyen Tri Phuong Market and Hoa Hung Market in District 10, were resumed to sell groceries after proving their reinforced measures in epidemic prevention, according to a report from the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Industry and Trade.

In late July and early August, many other markets in Ho Chi Minh City were also given the greenlight to reopen after they had fortified their COVID-19 safety regulations, enforcing mandatory face masks, safe distancing, body temperature checks, and medical declarations for all market-goers.

At the start of the enhanced social distancing mandate in Ho Chi Minh City in early July, various traditional markets were forced to shut down due to COVID-19 cases or insufficient measures to ensure epidemiological safety, Nguyen Nguyen Phuong, deputy director of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Industry and Trade, said during a press meeting on July 12. 

By Wednesday, an estimated 33 out of 237 traditional markets in the city had been up and running, while Thu Duc City, District 3, District 4, District 5, District 6, District 7, District 8, Phu Nhuan District, Binh Tan District, Tan Phu District, Hoc Mon District, and Tan Binh District had still closed all marketplaces in their areas.

As the local markets, a huge distribution channel for groceries, get disrupted, the trade and industry department agrees that city residents are struggling to procure essential items. 

But product scarcity is being improved as grocery and essential supplies flow into other channels, including supermarkets, convenience stores, and shops on wheels. 

Currently, the city is keeping 100 out of its 106 supermarkets, plus 2,763 out of 2,895 conveniece stores open. 

In addition to discussing the reopening of traditional markets with provincial authorities and opening makeshift marketplaces that adhere to safety regulations, the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Industry and Trade is looking to get more suppliers and partners on board with the ‘grocery shops on wheels’ initiative, a representative of the department stated.

Ho Chi Minh City has emerged as Vietnam’s gravest outbreak site, recording 112,479 cases out of the country’s total of 185,162 domestic infections since the fourth wave began on April 27.

The situation prompted authorities to put the city under a tightened social distancing mandate that forbids public gatherings of over two, bans non-essential businesses and services, and requires people to stay home.

Vietnam reported on Friday morning 4,009 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the nationwide tally to 189,066, according to the Ministry of Health.

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