|A supermarket in HCM City. City supermarkets have plenty of stocks of goods to meet the possible sharp rise in demand amid the Covid-19 social distancing campaign announced by the Government. — Photo Tấn Thanh|
HCM CITY — Supermarkets, food stores and traditional markets in HCM City will remain open after April 1 amid the two-week national social distancing campaign, according to the city Department of Industry and Trade.
Supermarkets have assured that they have stocks of goods for the next three to six months, and people need not stockpile anything, it said.
Yesterday, after the announcement of the two-week campaign from April 1, people in HCM City flocked to supermarkets and retail outlets to buy essential items like rice, instant noodles, meat, and eggs.
Supermarkets have prepared beforehand to cope with any surge in demand.
Nguyễn Anh Đức, general director of Saigon Co.op, which owns the Co.opmart and Co.opXtra supermarket chains, said there are abundant stocks of rice, instant noodles, canned foods, water, egg, beef, toilet paper, and other products.
They are enough to meet demand for at least three to six months, and “people should not stock up on goods,” he said.
It is also keeping a close eye on the Covid-19 situation and the market in provinces and cities to co-ordinate between suppliers, its central warehouse and outlets to transport goods in time.
A Big C supermarket spokesperson also said all stores across the country are open as usual and have increased stocks of essential products by two to five times.
A Lotte Mart representative said timings remain unchanged and there is abundant supply of fresh foods at all stores.
The supermarket has instructed its staff not to leave any shelf empty in order not to worry customers, he said.
On April 1, the number of shoppers decreased significantly at supermarkets, retail stores and traditional markets compared to the preceding day.
Nguyễn Huỳnh Trang, deputy director of the city Department of Industry and Trade, said businesses participating in the city’s price stabilisation programme and manufacturers are supplying at least 30-40 per cent more goods than demanded.
"Supermarkets and shops have plans to ensure adequate supply of staple foods and foodstuffs. Therefore, we recommend that people do not stock up on foods, foodstuffs and other essential goods."
The department has also urged people to increase online and home delivery shopping to mitigate the chance of Covid-19 infection.
It has co-ordinated with other government agencies, business groups and city districts to ensure supply of essential goods at stable prices in all circumstances.
Supermarkets in the city have taken measures to safeguard customers’ health such as checking their temperature and providing them with hand sanitisers before entering the shopping area.
They regularly disinfect their stores, cleaning all areas, floors, door handles, trolleys, and surfaces of products with disinfectants, and placing hand sanitisers at entrances, toilets, customer service and cash counters, and other places.
Some have drawn lines to ensure that customers stay at least two metres away each other when queuing up.
Retailers are trying to promote sales online and on the telephone. — VNS