|Roads in Long Xuyên City, the southern province of An Giang are deserted in social distancing. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Sang|
HÀ NỘI — The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), Lê Minh Hoan, and Minister of Industry and Trade (MoIT), Nguyễn Hồng Diên have co-chaired an online meeting to discuss the supply of essential goods and services in the 19 southern provinces and cities currently under social distancing orders.
Minister Diên said that the two ministries needed to work together to carry out a number of essential tasks to reduce supply shortages. This comes after reports that supermarket shelves have been emptied in many places in Southern Việt Nam in a spate of panic buying.
Diên said they first needed to accurately assess the discrepancies in supply and demand. They would then work to proactively connect suppliers and buyers coordinating with authorities in the transport and health sectors to improve the circulation of goods, and broken links between farmers and consumers would be fixed.
Market management organisations in the provinces need to take the lead and coordinate with local authorities to promptly handle profiteering and trading in low quality fake goods.
Diên also stressed that localities must prioritise keeping the public informed with clear and accurate information.
For his part, Hoan said that a statistics department could be established to send information to the MARD and the MoIT daily.
The Ministry of Transport (MoT) also held a virtual meeting Saturday with 22 southern provinces and cities. Minister of Transport, Nguyễn Văn Thể, told provinces to be ready to adjust and deploy appropriate transport options that comply with social distancing orders.
A number of localities in the central region have said they are willing to receive citizens from pandemic hit areas. Thể said localities were welcome to make agreements with each other, and to report to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control for specific regulations and instructions if necessary.
In an interview with the Sức khỏe & Đời sống (Health and Life) newspaper on Saturday, Minister of Health, Nguyễn Thanh Long, said that the health sector has given directions and laid plans for the implementation of pandemic prevention measures when applying social distancing. He emphasized the importance of early detection.
The Ministry of Health has also established a warehouse in HCM City to assist with the coordination of 2,000 high-function ventilators and other conventional ventilators for the city.
“I believe that we will ensure adequate equipment for pandemic prevention in the city and in other localities across the country,” he said. — VNS
People rush to markets, food prices skyrocket
SOUTHERN REGION — Although local authorities confirmed that markets were still operating normally during social distancing, people in the southern provinces have still flocked to shopping centres to buy food and other necessities.
Võ Văn Chiêu, director of the Sóc Trăng Province Department of Industry and Trade, said that people were scared of running out of goods although supermarket prices were still stable.
In Bạc Liên Province, Saturday, stores, supermarkets, and markets were flooded with shoppers. Residents stocked up on instant noodles, rice, vegetables and eggs. The volume of people at the market at the same time caused a lot of congestion.
Chairman of the provincial people’s committee, Phạm Văn Thiều, confirmed the province would ensure supplies of food and medicine. — VNS