People in HCMC find checkpoints between them and food, medicines

By Thi Ha   August 18, 2021 | 10:18 pm PT
People in HCMC find checkpoints between them and food, medicines
A shopper at Binh Thoi Market in HCMC. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
Some people in HCMC still find it very difficult to buy food and medicine because they are given no or few coupons to go to markets and pharmacies.

Nguyen Hoai of Thu Duc City said he rode a motorbike to a supermarket on Hiep Binh Road near his house on August 16 to buy groceries, but was stopped by police officers and fined for going out without justifiable reasons in violation of Covid-19 prevention regulations.

He said local authorities have not given him a coupon to shop for groceries at markets or supermarkets in his residential area. With a coupon, he would not have been fined, he said.

Hoa of Ward 13, Go Vap District, said she works during the week and can only shop on Sunday, but the coupon she received requires her to shop on weekdays, and she cannot even enter any supermarket on Sunday.

"I had to place orders on online platforms for essential goods I need," she said.

A group of 20 people living in a boarding house told VnExpress they have been given only one coupon between them for shopping, making it hard for them to buy the essential items they need.

Hoa of Tan Binh District said one day, while on his way to a pharmacy to buy some medicines, he was stopped at a checkpoint him and told to return home because he could not prove he was out for a justifiable reason.

A city Department of Industry and Trade official admitted that local authorities should issue more shopping coupons and set up more mobile points of sales in areas with no or few supermarkets.

People suggested the coupons should specify that they are to be used for buying groceries, medicines and items required for babies and mothers.

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