|Shoppers wait in line in front of a bus selling vegetables, one of the many mobile selling sites in HCM City. The city has been carrying out a number of initiatives to help people buy essential goods more easily. – VNA/VNS Photo|
HCM CITY – HCM City has been working on a number of solutions to ensure its populace can access the abundance of essential goods available in other provinces amid the strict social distancing in place.
Nguyễn Nguyên Phương, deputy director of its Department of Industry and Trade, said other provinces produce large volumes of foodstuffs and other essential goods, even to excess in certain cases.
Transportation of such goods to the city might still face problem sand smooth distribution within the city remains harder to achieve but solutions are being found expeditiously, he said.
As of July 30 only 27 out of 237 traditional markets remained open, none in the inner city, he said.
So people have to depend on supermarkets and other modern retailers, but some of them have also closed down and the rest could only remain open until 5pm due to the city’s new curfew, and this is making it harder to supply goods, he said.
Some places have few or no large supermarkets, and the small stores there could easily run out of stocks, he admitted.
His department is working on partially reopening traditional markets to increase the supply of fresh farm produce, and they could be even safer than supermarkets in terms of preventing virus infections, he said.
New sites for selling agricultural produce would be set up near markets that could not be reopened, with traders from such markets selling there, he said.
District authorities should assist distributors by providing vehicles to transport goods from suppliers so that more goods could be sold, he said.
More and more mobile sales trips are also being organised around the city, with schedules being uploaded on the department’s Communist Youth Union Facebook page.
Checks on transport of essential goods around the city have been made less stringent.
Delivery workers transporting such goods are now allowed to travel across the city instead of being confined to one assigned district as was the case for the last few days.
HCM City is the COVID-19 epicentre of the country with more than 90,000 cases since the fourth outbreak began in late April. Social distancing began on May 31, and more and more stringent preventive measures have been put in place as the number of cases keeps rising. – VNS