HCMC shopping coupon scheme makes unsteady start

By Thi Ha, Tat Dat   August 6, 2021 | 12:24 am PT
Some people in HCMC have not received coupons to shop for groceries at local markets and supermarkets, and others have been allotted timeframes when key items are unavailable.

My Trinh, who lives in Binh Thanh District, said she could not enter a supermarket last week because she did not have a coupon from ward authorities.

After complaining to her landlord, she and four house mates together received two coupons for shopping on three days a week from 10.30 am to 12.30 pm.

Trinh said two coupons are not enough for five people, and at their allotted time it is hard to buy pork and fish.

HCMC residents have been given tickets to purchase food in certain time frames, aiming to maintain social distancing measures amid rising number of Covid-19 cases.

Ky Hoa of Phuoc Long B Ward, Thu Duc City, said Thursday she has not received a coupon.

"Buying goods online is difficult and expensive now. My three children and I will run out of food in the next two days if I don’t get a coupon soon."

A shopping coupon issued to a resident in Ward 16, District 8, HCMC. Photo by VnExpress/Tat Dat.

A shopping coupon issued to a resident in Ward 16, District 8, HCMC. Photo by VnExpress/Tat Dat.

Many people in other districts such as Go Vap, 3, 11, and 12 also complained that when they reach the markets and supermarkets the items they want to buy are sold out, and they are not allowed to go and shop outside their wards or communes.

Fresh vegetables, eggs and meat sell out early, an employee of Vinmart in Go Vap District said, adding that poultry eggs are in fact often gone before 8 a.m though the store only allows customers to buy a maximum of three cartons.

The heads of residential areas in Ward 13, Go Vap District, have promised to print more coupons and adjust the timeframes. Owners of boarding houses are responsible for distributing coupons to tenants.

"Goods are fairly abundant, oversupplied at some outlets, but insufficient at others, and so localities should review them to achieve balance," Nguyen Nguyen Phuong, deputy director of the city Department of Industry and Trade, told VnExpress.

Since the wave started on April 27, over 185,000 community transmissions have been recorded in 62 of Vietnam's 63 cities and provinces, with HCMC accounting for the most cases, more than 112,000.

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