Two children in an army concentrated quarantined area in the northern province of Vĩnh Phúc. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoàng Hùng
HÀ NỘI — Every child aged up to 16 years old in COVID-19 concentrated areas is being given VNĐ80,000 (US$3.5) per day for daily meals during their 21-day quarantine.
The financial support comes from the National Fund for Vietnamese Children and will be given to children quarantined from April 27 onwards. The support is expected to be offered until the end of this year.
According to the Minister of Labour, Invalid and Social Affairs Đào Ngọc Dung, more than 4,000 children are in concentrated quarantine areas across the country, accounting for about 6 per cent of the total number of people in the areas.
The number could increase as more SARS-CoV-2 infections are reported, particularly those in industrial zones, he said.
Since the beginning of this year, Việt Nam has witnessed two waves of COVID-19 pandemic after two in 2020. One hit the northern provinces of Hải Dương and Quảng Ninh early this year, ahead of Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday while the ongoing fourth wave is developing in a complex manner.
The increases in COVID-19 cases and their close contacts have harmed the country’s production and socio-economic development.
During the pandemic’s resurgence, labourers have faced many difficulties to access and get jobs in the formal sector, forcing them to accept low-paid and unstable jobs.
The minister said 19.9 per cent of employees in production establishments and 19 per cent of employees in co-operatives have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The service sector was hit hardest as 20.4 per cent of people working in the sector were impacted.
As many as 7.5 per cent of labourers working in the agriculture, forestry and aquaculture sector and 16.5 per cent of labourers in the industrial and construction sector have been affected.
About 40,000 Vietnamese workers have completed procedures to work overseas but can't leave the country due to the pandemic.
Seeing such negative impacts on the labour market, firms and employees, the Việt Nam General Confederation of Labor (VGCL) has proposed Government spend part of its VNĐ62 trillion (US$2.6 billion) aid package to support workers affected by the pandemic.
The Government passed the $2.6 billion financial support package last year for poor people and businesses affected by the pandemic. It targets six categories of individuals and businesses, including poor and near-poor households, workers who are furloughed or put on leave without pay, and household businesses.
Under the VGCL's proposal, the beneficiaries should be extended to include COVID-19-affected workers, especially those receiving treatment for COVID-19, those staying in concentrated quarantine sites, those under quarantine at home, and those residing in locked-down areas.
The VGCL also recommended Government allow enterprises to add the expense to buy vaccines for employees and donations to the national vaccine fund into their production/operation costs.
The VGCL and Việt Nam Chamber for Commerce and Industry are calling on employers to pursue vaccines for their employees as well as contribute to the national vaccine fund. — VNS