HCMC residents rush to stockpile food amid new restrictions

By Thi Ha, Vien Thong   August 20, 2021 | 05:59 pm GMT+7
HCMC residents rush to stockpile food amid new restrictions
Customers wait to shop at a Co.opmart outlet in Ho Chi Minh City on August 20, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Dinh Van
HCMC supermarkets saw customer numbers triple or quadruple Friday after the city announced further mobility restrictions.

Hoang in District 3 arrived at Co.opmart on Nguyen Dinh Chieu at 8 a.m. but failed to check out before 12:30 p.m.

"After the city announced more tightened regulations, I wanted to buy more stuff for my family. We have two babies and we cannot order milk and diapers online."

Ho Chi Minh City on Thursday announced it would require people to "stay where they are" and banned them from going out starting Aug. 23 amid persistent Covid-19 threats.

The city of 13 million has undergone a series of social distancing orders, with the latest one extended until Sept. 15.

This has tripled or quadrupled the number of shoppers at local retail outlets like MM Mega Market An Phu, Aeon Mall Tan Phu, and Co.opmart.

One of them, Hoa, had to wait for hours before being able to enter MM Mega Market An Phu.

"I wanted to get enough for two weeks so it took a long time to check out."

Co.opmart outlets in Nguyen Dinh Chieu and Cong Quynh were in the same situation with customers queuing outside.

A spokesperson of Aeon Vietnam said there were times in the day when its outlet saw shortages and long lines were formed at checkout counters.

Staff had to limit the number of shoppers and put some in waiting areas while filling up the shelves.

The retail company will increase the amount of goods at its outlet in the next two days.

Empty vegetables shelves are seen in supermarket in Ho Chi Minh City on August 20, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran

Empty vegetables shelves are seen in supermarket in Ho Chi Minh City on August 20, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran

A MM Mega Market spokesperson said there would be enough rice, instant noodles, oil and spices for the next one or two months. It also has large amounts of fresh food coming in daily.

Minimarts and grocery stores also saw surging number of customers Friday.

Dinh in District 4 gave up shopping at a grocery store when he saw lines stretching hundreds of meters.

Hieu in District 1 saw a Bach Hoa Xanh outlet running out of instant noodles. Other shoppers in other locations reported shortages of fish, seafood and meat.

Online sellers have also seen rising demand.

Linh, a fish seller, saw the number of orders double. Some customers tripled their pre-orders.

"I am overloaded and will only resume selling again after Sept. 15."

Ride-hailing company Gojek on Friday morning reported a double-digit surge in GoFood and GoSend demand compared to recent days, while its competitor Grab also reported a rise in demand for fresh food delivery.

Vietnam saw a new single-day Covid-19 record of over 10,600 cases Thursday. HCMC has confirmed over 164,300 cases since the end of April.

 
 
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