Limit stay-at-work to localities with pandemic under control: gov’t committee

By Anh Minh   August 1, 2021 | 01:26 am PT
Limit stay-at-work to localities with pandemic under control: gov’t committee
Workers sleep in tents in a factory in Binh Duong Province, southern Vietnam. Photo by VnExpress/An Phuong.
The government-run Private Sector Development Committee (Board IV) has proposed that the stay-at-work model is applied only in localities where the pandemic situation is under control.

With pathogens appearing in many areas and neighborhoods of HCMC and southern provinces for a prolonged period, many enterprises which apply the stay-at-work model face big risks regardless of Covid testing, according to the committee.

In fact, several enterprises in HCMC and southern provinces, including major pork supplier Vissan have recorded more and more Covid cases inside their factories despite having workers staying on and conducting frequent Covid-19 tests.

They also face more difficulties in contact tracing and handling Covid cases, leaving workers in distress and other businesses affected.

Many localities have ordered businesses to suspend operations after their stay-at-work implementation has failed. However, other factories with zero cases have also been forced to shut down, as has happened in Tien Giang, eliciting complaints that they are being unfairly penalized despite investing heavily in complying with all required safety precautions.

The stay-at-work model should only be applied in localities which have better controlled the outbreaks, the committee has said in a document submitted to Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh.

The department of industry under the Ministry of Industry and Trade has also said that the stay-at-work model was not suitable for businesses in the southern region that mainly use a lot of migrant workers from other localities.

The department noted that companies in the south should choose to transport workers between production facilities and accommodation at other places like dormitories and hotels.

The committee said if the stay-at-work’ model is continued, local and health authorities should publicly announce medical plans and treatment procedures in case infections are detected on the premises.

Currently, many enterprises in the southern provinces have recorded infections inside their factories but there are no available solutions to cope with the situation because medical facilities are already overloaded.

The committee also urged the government to work with health authorities to come up with feasible solutions to minimize the damage on affected businesses and workers.

More than three months into the new wave, Vietnam has recorded 146,198 community infections in 62 of its 63 cities and provinces.

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