|Wearing masks at public places has become a habit among locals. — Photo courtesy of sggp.org.vn|
HCM CITY — HCM City is planning to reopen traditional markets after carrying out research on safety measures for workers and the public.
Though bottlenecks in the circulation of agricultural products from provinces to HCM City have been removed, locals’ consumption rate is still relatively slow, according to Sài Gòn Giải Phóng (Liberated Sài Gòn) newspaper.
Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyễn Hồng Diên has asked People’s Committees of provinces and centrally-run cities to arrange temporary market locations and reopen traditional markets.
HCM City, however, wants to reopen traditional markets with detailed plans to ensure safety against the pandemic. Online sales and alternating between vendors’ operating hours and vaccination campaigns are part of the plan.
Trần Tiến Khai, lecturer at the HCM City University of Economics, said that traders in wholesale markets could deliver goods directly to retail markets under the supervision of market management boards.
Retail markets should focus on agricultural products and fresh produce in order to reduce the number of people and ensure safe distancing.
At the moment, many wholesale markets are selling on even and odd days, instead of a weekly basis, to avoid inventory of agricultural products. Vendors are required to be fully vaccinated to limit the potential infection of the coronavirus.
A wholesale market manager said that considering the current context, it is extremely difficult for traditional markets to operate smoothly.
Selling food via online and on e-commerce channels has become a solution, but all products need to have clear packaging and labels.
Traditional markets also need to develop an online data system connecting all vendors and make it convenient for them to facilitate transactions and distribution of goods.
Many supermarkets with staff who have tested positive for COVID-19 have been closed for disinfection. It usually takes a week for them to reopen.
As a large amount of fresh food has gone to waste, the president of the Việt Nam Retail Association, Vũ Thị Hậu, suggested that supermarkets should only be closed for 24 to 72 hours.
Provinces should distribute shopping tickets to locals in order to avoid queues outside supermarkets and traditional markets. — VNS