|Bình Điền Wholesale Market traders are moving their goods out the market. — Photo tuoitre.vn|
HCM CITY — The HCM City Department of Industry and Trade said it has plans to ensure uninterrupted supply of essential goods to meet consumer demand though all three of the city's largest wholesale markets have been closed.
Bình Điền Wholesale Market in District 8 was closed on Tuesday morning after recording at least 39 cases of COVID-19 through mass testing, and will reopen when it can comply fully with the pandemic prevention and control protocols.
Traders there have been told to switch to online sales and have their products delivered to customers’ homes until then.
The city will also strengthen mobile sales to ensure there is an adequate supply of essential items like food.
The department has worked with businesses and district administrations to ensure no small trader hikes prices.
Whatever the situation, authorities and key businesses would ensure supply is always adequate provided people do not hoard, Nguyễn Nguyên Phương, deputy director of the department, said.
With the three largest wholesale markets in the city having to temporarily shut down, Thủ Đức and Hóc Môn being the others, goods coming from provinces to the city will go directly to traditional markets.
The department said the 1,962 food supply points (106 supermarkets, 220 traditional markets and 1,636 convenience stores) in the city have plans for stockpiling to ensure supply of food and other essential items is adequate.
The city also plans to strengthen the capacity of traditional markets as well as modern distribution systems to maintain their key role in distributing essential goods.
Bùi Tá Hoàng Vũ, director of the department, said the city held a meeting with Tây Ninh Province to set up a buffer zone for transhipment of goods between the two places.
Goods coming from Tây Ninh to the city will be gathered in a place between Củ Chi and Trảng Bàng it will disinfect districts where both they and the vehicles transporting them before they are brought to traditional markets.
The 30-hectare Bình Điền Wholesale Market has thousands of stalls selling mainly seafood, pork and vegetables.
It has around 20,000 people working every night during normal times, but during social distancing only 9,000-12,000 people were allowed to work there, yet the risk of spread of infection remained very high. It has thousands of stalls, and some 5,000 cars and trucks and 2,000 three-wheelers enter it every day.
Eight thousand tonnes of fruits and vegetables come to the city’s three wholesale markets every day, meeting 70 per cent of demand.
Supermarkets, shopping malls and other retailers supply the remaining 30 per cent. — VNS