HCMC traditional markets lack patrons on Covid fears

By Tat Dat, Thi Ha   July 20, 2021 | 09:43 pm PT
HCMC traditional markets lack patrons on Covid fears
Few people shop at Ba Chieu Market in Binh Thanh District, HCMC, on the morning of July 20, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Tat Dat.
The number of customers at traditional markets in HCMC is declining sharply despite abundant supply and reasonable prices.

A survey by VnExpress on Tuesday found most traditional markets getting few shoppers in the morning. Ba Chieu Market in Binh Thanh District, which allows a maximum of 10 shoppers at a time, was deserted. It has some 20 stalls selling fruits, vegetables and dried foods.

A similar situation was seen in Tan Lap Market in Thu Duc City and Phu Tho Market in district 11.

According to the HCMC Department of Industry and Trade, 40 traditional markets are allowed to operate partly, selling only essential foods and foodstuffs.

The Ba Chieu Market management explained that traders sell goods online while people are afraid of coming to the market since nearby residential areas have suspected Covid-19 cases. Vendors at the markets are tested and some of them have been vaccinated, it said.

Many shops in traditional markets have reduced the prices of vegetables and fruits to supermarket levels. On Tuesday one kilogram of sweet cabbage, cucumber and lettuce was sold for VND30,000 (US$1.3) each, tomato for around VND40,000, and lemon and lemongrass for VND20,000.

HCMC, home to 13 million people, is suffering the worst Covid-19 community outbreak ever. It is now the most infected locality with more than 39,500 ocal cases recorded so far in the ongoing wave that hit Vietnam on April 27.

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