1,000 workers lose jobs to novel coronavirus epidemic

By Hoang Phong   February 14, 2020 | 04:36 pm PT
1,000 workers lose jobs to novel coronavirus epidemic
A female laborer works at a company in Hai Phong City. Photo by VnExpress/Anh Duy.
Over 1,000 Vietnamese laborers have exited employment as businesses scale down production or suspend operations due to new coronavirus fears, a labor ministry report stated. 

Of the affected, one-third work in accommodation and catering sectors, said the report, which was compiled using data gathered from 180,000 businesses in 22 out of 63 provinces and cities across Vietnam.

It stated 332 businesses had suspended operations while 553 others lowered production targets amid the fast-spreading Covid-19 epidemic.

Besides, of 5,000 cooperatives covered, 25 suspended operations and five reduced production scale.

The severity of the novel coronavirus epidemic is likely to drag Vietnam’s GDP growth down to 5.96 percent this year.

The projected growth rate, the lowest since 2013, assumes the epidemic is contained in the second quarter, the Ministry of Planning and Investment reported Wednesday.

The country has recorded 16 cases of infection with 11 in Vinh Phuc Province, which neighbors Hanoi. Of the remaining five, three were found in Ho Chi Minh City, one in central Khanh Hoa Province and another in central Thanh Hoa Province.

Vietnam declared the Covid-19 outbreak an epidemic on February 1.

As of Saturday, the global death toll had climbed to 1,523 and confirmed infections topped 66,900. Over 7,800 patients have recovered.

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