Saigon prepares food, supplies as Covid-19 spreads

By Manh Tung   March 25, 2020 | 05:00 pm GMT+7
Saigon prepares food, supplies as Covid-19 spreads
People shop in a supermarket in Saigon's District 9, March 25, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
The Saigon Department of Industry and Trade has devised three scenarios to provide food and necessities to residents as Covid-19 infections increase.

If Saigon manages to keep the number of patients below 100, people are anticipated to change from shopping every day to only on the weekends, said the department. Hoarding of food and necessities could cause shortages of certain products in certain time frames, it said.

In such a case, the department would monitor the market and cooperate with businesses and other entities to make sure enough goods and products are provided. The HCMC Market Management Department and local authorities would make sure there would be no price gouging, hoarding or withholding of products, it stated.

To stabilize the market, businesses would need to increase products by 30-40 percent. They would also be requested to prepare enough raw materials so the amount of products provided could be increased by 50-100 percent if necessary.

In the second scenario, with the number of patients across the city no more than 300, supplies would be increased by 30-100 percent to help stabilize the market, said the department.

In the third, worst-case scenario, when the novel coronavirus begins to spread widely among the community, the department would present city authorities with multiple product mobilization and distribution policies. The export of raw materials and products, like food and necessities, would be restricted as well, it added.

In the ongoing fight against Covid-19, the amount of products used to stabilize the market in Saigon currently accounts for 35-50 percent of the city's demand. Several food products, including eggs, sugar and poultry, have increased production by thousands of tons a month to help stabilize the market, said the department.

Additionally, the city has no shortage of masks, with 23 businesses producing around three million a day, of which one million are given to hospitals, said authorities. The city's industry and trade department is also looking for other countries and territories with raw materials to produce surgical masks in April.

Saigon has so far confirmed 34 Covid-19 cases, of whom three have recovered and been discharged. As the number of infections continue to rise in the city, the southern metropolis has adopted several measures to help combat the spread of the disease, including closing down bars, clubs, gyms and restaurants.

Vietnam has confirmed 134 Covid-19 cases so far, of whom 17 have recovered and been discharged. Many of the currently active cases are Vietnamese nationals retuning from Europe and the U.S. and foreigners visiting from the same regions.

The Covid-19 pandemic has killed close to 19,000 people globally.

 
 
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