Retail chains and convenience stores in Ho Chi Minh City will have some of their staff allowed to go out for work during the 12-hour COVID-19 travel ban period starting from 6:00 pm every day, under a new decision of local authorities.
In an urgent dispatch issued on Monday, chairman of the city’s administration Nguyen Thanh Phong has approved the Industry and Trade Department’s proposal to permit a number of employees of such outlets to go to work from 6:00 pm to 6:00 am the next day.
The approval was made as a step to facilitate the transport and delivery of essential goods to local residents amid the COVID-19 pandemic that has hit Vietnam since early 2020.
Accordingly, a certain number of employees of supermarkets and convenience stores will be entitled to come to the designated places during the 12-hour period to do their assignments, including premises disinfection, logistics preparation, and arrangement of goods for sale.
The department is required to coordinate with relevant agencies to confirm the lists of assigned workers and integrate them into the database of its information portal for purposes of management, extraction, and comparison.
Based on the department's confirmation, the retail outlets’ management will grant passes or certificates to their staff for use during travel.
Police are requested to facilitate the workers with required identifications in their travel to their workplaces, the dispatch said.
The city has imposed the outdoor travel ban since July 26, along with other restrictions under the prime minister’s Directive No. 16, as an additional measure to better contain the coronavirus spread, which has recently caused thousands of infections per day.
Directive No. 16, applied in the city since July 9, includes the closure of non-essential businesses and services, a stay-home order, a ban on gatherings larger than two people, a minimum two-meter distance between people, and the suspension of public transport.
The city has documented more than 128,200 COVID-19 cases since the pandemic’s fourth outbreak appeared in Vietnam in late April, the municipal Center for Disease Control.
The Ministry of Health confirmed on Tuesday morning 5,149 new coronavirus infections, including 2,490 cases in Ho Chi Minh City, which has recently become the largest hotspot of COVID-19 in the country.
The latest cases have taken the country’s tally since early 2020 to 224,894, including 222,527 domestic and 2,367 imported cases, of which 75,920 have recovered and 3,757 died.
Since the start of the fourth coronavirus outbreak, the country has reported 220,957 domestic infections, representing as much as 99.3 percent of the total count.