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Industrial park closures cost epicenter Bac Giang $86 million a day

By Anh Minh   May 31, 2021 | 05:37 am PT
Industrial park closures cost epicenter Bac Giang $86 million a day
Van Trung industrial park in the northern province of Bac Giang. Photo by VnExpress/Vo Hai.
The latest Covid-19 outbreak is inflicting a daily loss of VND2 trillion (over $86 mln) in industrial production and causing 140,000 employees to miss work in Covid-19 hotspot Bac Giang.

This assessment was shared with Deputy PM Le Van Thanh at a Sunday meeting by a senior provincial official.

Nguyen Xuan Ngoc, deputy head of the management board of Bac Giang industrial parks, said 395 enterprises, including many foreign giants, with 163,000 employees were operating in the province’s industrial zones. These enterprises contribute VND300 trillion every year to the industrial production value of the province and more than VND3 trillion to the state budget.

After having to suspend operations for almost half a month to stem the spread of the Covid-19 virus, 10 firms with more than 4,000 employees were eligible to resume operations.

Ngoc also said more businesses are expected to reopen Monday, May 31.

Currently, 40 enterprises in the province’s four industrial parks have registered a plan to reopen after the parks were closed a fortnight ago.

Tran Quang Tan, director of Bac Giang’s Department of Industry and Trade, said that besides the industrial parks, 127 firms in 30 out of 45 industrial areas have had to stop operating. As many as 20,000 people have been deprived of employment as a result.

The suspension of operations in both IPs and smaller areas because of Covid-19 has caused the province’s industrial production to fall nearly 41 percent in May from April and down 33 percent year-on-year, Tan said.

However, the most difficult thing facing the province was the import and export of materials and goods because drivers carrying goods in and out of industrial zones to localities have to be isolated for 21 days.

"Traders are also afraid to go to epidemic areas because they have to be isolated on return, so the circulation of goods has become difficult," Tan said.

After suspending the operation of four industrial zones, Bac Giang set up 35 teams to review and evaluate the conditions for 231 out of 310 enterprises to resume production.

Accordingly, it was deemed that there are 34 very low risk, 15 low risk, 40 medium risk and 60 high risk enterprises.

In the immediate future, priority will be given to guiding and supporting the 34 enterprises with very low infection risks, some large enterprises with low and medium risks engaged in the global production chain and enterprises manufacturing essential goods to begin work again.

Bac Giang also wants ministries and agencies to help remove obstacles in the circulation of agricultural products, officials told the Deputy PM.

In the spirit of quickly stamping out the epidemic and restoring production and business, the Deputy PM suggested that the Ministry of Health and Bac Giang must "focus on vaccination." While this is a long-term strategy, it had to be done as quickly as possible to restore production immediately, he said.

"Enterprises reopening must have a solid plan to ensure social distancing and vaccinate workers," Thanh said.

"We need to find a way to resume production without having to stop again, because halting production every time like this will have a huge impact," he added.

On May 8, Bac Giang recorded the first case of Covid-19 infection in the factory of the Shin Young Company at the Van Trung Industrial Park. Six days later, the province recorded another case of infection at Hosiden Company in Quang Chau Industrial Park. Both IPs are now the biggest Covid-19 hotspots in Bac Giang, making the province the epicenter of Vietnam’s fourth Covid-19 outbreak.

As of Monday night, Bac Giang had recorded 2,252 Covid-19 cases.

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