Crowds flood Saigon's major wholesale market amid social distancing order

By Huu Khoa   April 16, 2020 | 09:05 pm GMT+7

The Agriculture Market in HCMC's outlying district of Thu Duc is still busy with huge crowds from dawn to dusk while the social distancing campaign is still in effect.

Located on Highway 1 to the eastern gateway of Ho Chi Minh City, this is one of the biggest  wholesale market in the city where people trade and transport goods from southern and south-central provinces or from the Central Highlands, making it busy from morning to night.Covering on an area of 20 hectares, the Thu Duc Market operates from 9 p.m. until the next morning, with the big volume of vegetables and fruits from neighboring provinces flocking to the market before distributing them to traders at traditional markets or supermarkets. 

Located on Highway 1 to the eastern gateway of Ho Chi Minh City, this is one of the three biggest wholesale markets in the city where people trade and transport goods from southern and south-central provinces or from the Central Highlands, making it busy from morning to night.

Covering on an area of 20 hectares, the Thu Duc Market's most bustling time is from 9 p.m. until the next morning, with the big volume of vegetables and fruits flocking to the market before being distributed to traders at traditional markets or supermarkets. 

At 9 p.m. Tuesday, porters carry loads of vegetables and fruits from trucks parking outside to their stall into the market. Most people wear masks but completely ignore the two-meter distance between two persons that the 15-day social distancing campaign ordered by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc calls for. 

At 9 p.m. Tuesday, porters carry loads of vegetables and fruits from trucks parking outside to their stall in the market. Most people wear masks but completely ignore the two-meter distance between two persons that the 15-day social distancing campaign ordered by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc calls for. 

In late night, the entrance to the market was flooded with huge crowds. Our specific job is to transport goods, trade and exchange goods with customers. How to communicate with each other if standing so far away, said Viet, a porter.

In late night, the entrance to the market was flooded with huge crowds. 

"Our specific job is to transport goods, trade and exchange goods with customers. How to communicate with each other if standing so far away," said Viet, a porter.

We do not have the habit of wearing face masks as carrying heavy loads requires a lot of energy. Wearing masks make us difficult to breathe. Since the Covid-19 pandemic gets more intense in the country, we have to use it to ensure safety. said Thanh Tuan, a local porter.

"We do not have the habit of wearing face masks as carrying heavy loads requires a lot of energy. Wearing masks makes us difficult to breathe. Since the Covid-19 pandemic gets more intense, we have to use them to ensure safety," said Thanh Tuan, a local porter.

At 1:30 a.m. on Wednesday, containers carrying agricultural products and foodstuffs from neighboring provinces began pouring into the market, which was also the peak time when porters have to work non-stop. Every day, thousands of tons of goods are imported to the market, most of them are fruits from Da Lat, a popular cool resort town in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong. In addition, this market also creates jobs for thousands of workers, coming from different localities around the country. 

At 1:30 a.m. on Wednesday, containers carrying agricultural products and foodstuffs from neighboring provinces begin pouring into the market, which is also the peak time when porters have to work non-stop. 

Every day, thousands of tons of goods are imported to the market, most of them are fruits from Da Lat, a popular cool resort town in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong. In addition, this market also creates jobs for thousands of workers, coming from different localities around the country. 

A man in mask carries foam boxes to the container area to transfer the fruits to his stall.

A man in mask carries foam boxes to the container area to transfer the fruits to his stall.

I have been selling fruits at the market for more than 5 years, and have not seen a difficult year like this. I do not dare to take much goods because of low demand from traditional markets, I hope the disease will end soon to make everything get back to normal, Loan said.

"I have been selling fruits at the market for more than five years, and have not seen a difficult year like this. I do not dare to take much goods because of low demand from traditional markets. I hope the disease will end soon to make everything get back to normal," Loan said.

Two porters take a short break before continuing his transporting job. While many people go to bed at this time, they are still working non-stop inside the market. Night sleeping is a luxury for these porters. 

Two porters take a short break before continuing his transporting job. While many people go to bed at this time, they are still working non-stop inside the market. Night sleeping is a luxury for these porters.

An electronic board at the market gate informs: Entry is not allowed without wearing face mask. On Wednesday, it was decided that thesocial distancing campaign in Vietnam will continue until April 22 in Hanoi, HCMC and 10 other localities deemed to be at high risk of Covid-19 spreading - Lao Cai, Quang Ninh, Bac Ninh, and Ninh Binh provinces in the north; Da Nang City and the provinces of Quang Nam, Binh Thuan, Khanh Hoa and Ha Tinh in the central region; and Tay Ninh Province in the south.

An electronic board at the market gate informs: "Entry is not allowed without wearing a face mask."

The market becomes bustling at 6 a.m. when small traders come to buy fruits and vegetables for resell at traditional markets. Thu Duc Agricultural Products Market was built in 2002 with a total investment of nearly VND200 billion ($8.4 million). In 2003, the market was put into operation. 

The market becomes bustling at 6 a.m. when small traders come to buy fruits and vegetables for reselling at traditional markets. 

The Thu Duc Agriculture Market was built in 2002 with a total investment of nearly VND200 billion ($8.4 million). In 2003, it was put into operation. 

The government on Wednesday decided that the social distancing campaign will continue until April 22 in Hanoi, HCMC and 10 other localities deemed to be at high risk of Covid-19 spreading - Lao Cai, Quang Ninh, Bac Ninh, and Ninh Binh provinces in the north; Da Nang City and the provinces of Quang Nam, Binh Thuan, Khanh Hoa and Ha Tinh in the central region; and Tay Ninh Province in the south. 

 
 
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