Vendors evict HCMC wholesale market in a hurry as Covid strikes

By Quynh Tran   June 28, 2021 | 02:24 pm GMT+7
Vendors in Hoc Mon, one of the three biggest wholesale markets in HCMC, scrambled to close their shops on Sunday evening after several Covid-19 cases were found here.
Vendors evict HCMC wholesale market in a hurry as Covid strikes

The market, which spreads over 100,000 square meters in the namesake northwestern district, will remain closed for a week from Monday after 19 Covid cases were found.

At 9 p.m. on Sunday the last trucks were seen going in and out, and shops took delivery of their goods and distributed them to other markets.

Vendors evict HCMC wholesale market in a hurry as Covid strikes

Thirty three fruit stalls and three vegetable stalls were already closed after vendors in other markets including in the neighboring province of Dong Nai were found to have contracted Covid from people in Hoc Mon Market.

Nguyen Tien Dung, director of the Hoc Mon Wholesale Market Management and Trading Co. Ltd., said pork stalls had stopped receiving goods Sunday morning after authorities issued the closure notice, and only agriculture produce stalls were still operating.

Vendors evict HCMC wholesale market in a hurry as Covid strikes

Supply of vegetables and fruits fell by 60 percent from normal to just 1,200 tons Sunday. Market authorities prioritized vendors and restricted the number of people buying goods for personal use.

Vendors evict HCMC wholesale market in a hurry as Covid strikes

Huong, a vegetable vendor in a small market 100 kilometers away, said: “I usually come here and pick up goods at midnight, but since the market is closing I came earlier today. I don’t know where to find supply in the next few days.”

Vendors evict HCMC wholesale market in a hurry as Covid strikes

Two men pack eggplants and other vegetables to close their shop.

One vendor said: “We have signed contracts with farmers to distribute their products to companies in industrial parks. Now that the market is closed, I don’t know how much compensation they will demand.”

Vendors evict HCMC wholesale market in a hurry as Covid strikes

Vendor Huynh Van Lanh had over 100 kilograms of vegetables left after distributing his goods. “I might have to give this away to my neighbors. Think of this as taking a break for a week amid the Covid-19 fight.”

Vendors evict HCMC wholesale market in a hurry as Covid strikes

Phat, another vendor, said while closing his shop: “During the closure, I’ll work with customers on the phone and have goods delivered directly to them.”

Vendors evict HCMC wholesale market in a hurry as Covid strikes

At 11 p.m., one hour before closure, market security guards walked around to urge vendors to finish quickly.

Vendors evict HCMC wholesale market in a hurry as Covid strikes

The last vendors started to leave the market.

Vendors evict HCMC wholesale market in a hurry as Covid strikes

All trucks and containers were disinfected while leaving. Market authorities will have the premises disinfected during the closure.

Vendors evict HCMC wholesale market in a hurry as Covid strikes

The sign reads: “Infected area. Do not gather.”

The market closed half an hour later than planned as many vendors could not finish in time.

During the week’s closure, they will deliver products directly to customers. Trucks are allowed to park around the market.

Around 4,000 vendors here and market authorities have been vaccinated.

Vendors evict HCMC wholesale market in a hurry as Covid strikes

HCMC on June 20 shut down temporary street markets amid a surge in the number of cases in the city. It now has over 3,200 infections in the latest Covid wave, second only behind the northern province of Bac Giang.

 
 
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