High-speed boats to deliver Mekong Delta produce, medical supplies to HCMC

By Gia Minh   July 19, 2021 | 02:11 pm GMT+7
High-speed boats to deliver Mekong Delta produce, medical supplies to HCMC
A high-speed boat of the Greenlines DP Technology company on the Saigon River. Photo courtesy of the HCMC Department of Transport.
Five high-speed boats would carry food and medical equipment from Mekong Delta to HCMC starting Monday to aid residents during the social distancing period.

The plan, deployed by the HCMC Department of Transport and other relevant agencies, would allow boats to carry food items like rice, noodles, meat, eggs and vegetables, as well as medical supplies.

The boats would operate from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day, each capable of carrying 20 tons of goods per trip. Transportation costs would be negotiated between Greenlines DP Technology, which operates the boats, and parties that wish to use the service.

The boats would leave ports in Long An, Tien Giang, Ben Tre and Vinh Long for Bach Dang Port in HCMC and vice versa. They would travel straight from Mekong Delta localities to HCMC without passing local checkpoints. Crew members must abide by coronavirus prevention measures, be vaccinated with at least one shot and test negative for the virus.

On the first trip, two boats carrying 40 tons of vegetables from Tien Giang arrived in HCMC at 1 p.m. Monday.

Previously, the HCMC transport department had designated traffic routes to carry essential goods, workers and experts in and out of the southern city amid the social distancing period to maintain supply chains across southern Vietnam’s economic zones.

HCMC began a two-week, citywide social distancing period starting July 9 amid rising numbers of new coronavirus infections. People are required to stay at home and only go out for buying food, medicine or working in businesses involving "essential" goods and services.

Sixteen southern localities including the entire Mekong Delta followed suit on Monday, which triggered people to stockpile food.

HCMC, now the nation's heaviest hit locality by Covid-19, has recorded 32,926 local cases since the fourth coronavirus wave hit Vietnam in late April, accounting for around 63 percent of all cases in the country during the new wave.

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