19 southern factories lament production restrictions

By Le Tuyet   October 21, 2021 | 06:48 pm PT
19 southern factories lament production restrictions
Tents set up under the stay-at-work model in a factory in Tien Giang Province. Photo by VnExpress/Hoang Nam
Nineteen foreign companies in the southern province of Tien Giang are unable to resume production since local authorities still require them to house their employees at the workplace.

Although over 80 percent of these workers have received one Covid-19 vaccine dose, the province restricts them from returning to work sooner than 14 days following their second shots, the companies jointly informed Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh.

As restrictions on factories since July 15 remain in place, these companies are seeing 85 percent of their orders moved to other countries.

Footwear and garment firms complain production delays would make it impossible to keep pace with popular fashion trends.

"We do not expect to fully resume production right away, but we can gradually restart like factories in Ho Chi Minh City," a spokesperson of one company said.

Trillions of Vietnamese dong (VND1 trillion = $43.98 million) have been spent on materials left unused for months, with customers sending their final notice on delayed deliveries, the joint letter stated.

The 19 companies proposed the stay-at-work and one-route-two-destinations models be scrapped.

Workers who live in areas at low, average and high risk should be allowed back to work if they have received the first vaccine dose for 14 days.

Workers should not be limited in the time they can leave their homes. Tien Giang currently limits people from leaving their house to between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m. daily.

The province should also accept rapid testing results instead of only PCR tests.

Workers who live in other provinces should be allowed back to work in Tien Giang if fully vaccinated.

Chairman of the province Nguyen Van Vinh told VnExpress on Wednesday he had received the proposals and would soon organize a press briefing.

Tien Giang suspended production across nine industrial clusters since Aug. 5 to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

On the government’s Covid-19 scale, the province currently puts itself at Level 2 out of 4, or at average risk.

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