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Soldiers pick up supermarket orders for Ho Chi Minh City residents during shelter-at-home mandate

Soldiers pick up supermarket orders for Ho Chi Minh City residents during shelter-at-home mandate

Tuesday, August 24, 2021, 17:27 GMT+7
Soldiers pick up supermarket orders for Ho Chi Minh City residents during shelter-at-home mandate
Soldiers pick up items based on residents’ orders at Big C Mien Dong Supermarket in District 10, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, August 24, 2021.

Military personnel have been mobilized to distribute groceries to Ho Chi Minh City residents during a stay-at-home mandate that came into effect on Monday, which requires city people not to leave their houses even for food shopping.

As part of drastic measures to push back the serious pandemic, the municipal authorities have asked everyone to stay where they are from August 23 to September 6.

They will not be allowed to go out for food and must rely on local task groups to deliver the items they need.

On Tuesday, many wards in Ho Chi Minh City started sourcing items from supermarkets based on the orders they had collected from local residents the previous day.

Special task groups of each ward, as well as military troops, have participated in the effort.

Tran Anh Tuan, a soldier assisting the COVID-19 prevention work in District 10, spent 20 minutes at the local Big C Mien Dong Supermarket picking up grocery packages as requested by households in a neighborhood.

According to Tuan, this is the first time he has been tasked with procuring food for civilians.

He and his comrades were trained on epidemic safety measures to protect themselves and the communities before they went on their duties, Tuan added.

Soldiers pick up items for residents with the help of a Big C Mien Dong Supermarket staffer in District 10, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, August 24, 2021.

Soldiers pick up items for residents with the help of a Big C Mien Dong Supermarket staffer in District 10, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, August 24, 2021.

Soldiers pick up items based on residents’ orders at Big C Mien Dong Supermarket in District 10, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, August 24, 2021.

Soldiers pick up items based on residents’ orders at Big C Mien Dong Supermarket in District 10, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, August 24, 2021.

According to Lieutenant Pham Xuan Chien, commander of a military unit currently stationed in Ho Chi Minh City, his cadre is assigned to support Ward 15 under Ho Chi Minh City’s District 10 in guarding COVID-19 checkpoints, patrolling, and grocery shopping for residents. 

After making purchases, the soldiers will deliver the item packages to the respective households. 

They will also assist ward-level authorities in distributing food aid packages to struggling residents, Chien said.

“Our whole unit is aware of our tasks in Ho Chi Minh City — the current COVID-19 epicenter of Vietnam — so we strive to uphold epidemiological safety as the utmost priority,” he added.

“We have to stay healthy before attempting to help city residents.”

In the next few days, soldiers will continue taking care of grocery purchases and deliveries, so that residents will not have to go out for food, Chien declared. 

Soldiers pay for items at a checkout counter at Big C Mien Dong Supermarket in District 10, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, August 24, 2021.

Soldiers pay for items at a checkout counter at Big C Mien Dong Supermarket in District 10, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, August 24, 2021.

Soldiers pick up items based on residents’ orders at Big C Mien Dong Supermarket in District 10, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, August 24, 2021.

Soldiers pick up items based on residents’ orders at Big C Mien Dong Supermarket in District 10, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, August 24, 2021.

Soldiers deliver essential items ordered by a household in District 10, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, August 24, 2021.

Soldiers deliver essential items ordered by a household in District 10, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, August 24, 2021.

On top of this service, local dwellers can order essential items via online channels and get them delivered to their doorstep, Hoang Anh, an official of Ward 15 under District 10, pointed out.

Customers will not have to worry about dried-up stock, said Nguyen Son My Kim, director of Big C Mien Dong Supermarket. 

In the past two days, the retailer has partnered with many ward-level authorities, delivering hundreds of orders to local households. 

However, their stock remains aplenty and capable of fulfilling the demand for the coming weeks, which could see thousands of orders per day.

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