Nguyễn Văn Thắng still works outside at a time while other people stay home to keep safe. — VNS Photo Minh Hương
HÀ NỘI — Most of the streets he passes are empty as citizens practise social distancing to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, but for a delivery driver like Nguyễn Văn Thắng, being outside is a must.
From Nam Định Province, Thắng, 41, spends more than VNĐ10 million ($425) each month on rent, food and other costs for his four-member family as well as school fees for his two daughters in Hà Nội.
“I don’t know if the coronavirus will kill me or not but no money will definitely kill me,” he told Việt Nam News.
“I earned more than VNĐ2 million yesterday as others did not drive. If nothing changes, I can earn at least double from what I usually make," he added.
While four-wheel transport services have been stopped till April 16 to battle the pandemic, ride-hailing firms like Grab, Be and GoViet are still offering delivery services.
While many drivers have cut back on their hours due to concerns over their health, Grab driver Đinh Mạnh Linh still work from 8am to 8pm every day.
“There are lots of orders from the early morning as people still want to buy food and other commodities in the time of social distancing,” he said.
"It is a chance to earn. The pandemic is unpredictable but with more income, I feel safe," Linh added.
“It is risky to work outside and contact with others when delivering but I can earn more by working in the period while most others stop,” he said.
Nguyễn Thị Quỳnh, who sells food in Hoàng Mai District has received more online orders but has struggled to find delivery drivers.
“My regular shippers went back to their hometowns, so I have to spend more on delivery services like Grab or Giaohangnhanh. I need them to best serve my customers to keep them with me now and after the pandemic,” she said.
“The competition between online sellers is very tough. If you don’t serve customers well one time, they will never order again,” she warned.
As part of efforts to fight the spread of the coronavirus, the Ministry of Transport requested Grab, be, GoViet and other ride-hailing reduce their operations.
Grab announced on its Facebook fan page that it will temporarily stop four-wheel services in all provinces and cities between April 1 and April 15 as well as the food delivery service in Đà Nẵng between April 2 and April 15.
The firm still runs the services of food and grocery delivery as well as express shipping.
Up to last August, Việt Nam was estimated to have more than 400,000 ride-hailing drivers nation-wide.— VNS