No groceries shortage, Hanoians assured as new Covid clusters appear

By Anh Minh   August 3, 2021 | 05:00 pm PT
No groceries shortage, Hanoians assured as new Covid clusters appear
A VinMart supermarket in Ha Dong District, Hanoi is closed on August 2, 2021 due to possible Covid-19 linkage. Photo by VnExpress/Minh Anh.
While several wholesale markets and supermarkets have halted operations because of Covid-19, alternative suppliers will ensure sufficient groceries for Hanoi residents, the trade ministry says.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade affirmed in a Tuesday post on its website that its Hanoi division has directed supermarkets to prepare measures to ensure sufficient grocery supplies in all situations.

The post followed a new Covid cluster being detected at Thanh Nga Supply Foods, a major beef supplier for several supermarkets and convenient stores in Hanoi, including VinMart, the biggest retail chain in Hanoi with nearly 1,000 outlets.

This lead to a stoppage of meat supply as well as closure and disinfecting of all stores to the company.

The ministry's post also said that the supermarkets have actively sought alternative suppliers, and that the current food supply will be guaranteed throughout the city.

In traditional markets, groceries supply remains stable with no major price change except for some fresh items whose prices have increased slightly due to rising transportation costs and skyrocketing demand. With locals only allowed to shop for groceries two to three times a week with shopping tickets, people kept buying larger amounts to last several days.

"The supply capacity across markets is still well maintained and people can access food at stable prices, except some fresh items that have become slightly more expensive", the ministry said.

To ensure safety, the ministry has asked distributors like BRG, Aeon, BigC and Mega Market to strictly comply with regulations and increase inventory to maintain supplies in case the outbreak worsens.

The Hanoi Department of Industry and Trade has been asked to arrange points of sale (including mobile ones) and deploy other selling methods to replace services provided by those forced to halt operations.

According to the department, there are 7,866 active points of sale and 455 traditional markets providing essential goods.

Hanoi has recorded 1,668 cases since the fourth Covid-19 wave struck Vietnam late April.

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