Well-prepared supermarkets in Ho Chi Minh City have managed to keep their shelves filled to the brim with goods as the nation implements social distancing to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Markets, supermarkets, and shops selling essentials are allowed to maintain normal operations after 0:00 Wednesday, April 1, when Vietnam entered 15 days of nationwide social distancing as per a directive issued by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc the day before.
The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Industry and Trade affirmed the information in a document sent to its information and communications counterpart and the administrations of 24 districts in the city on Tuesday afternoon.
Along with that, the department also stated that supermarket chains and stores in the city had reserved enough supply of essentials to serve the needs of the local people.
Residents are advised to refrain from gathering at the points of sale in order to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection.
Online purchases and doorstep delivery are recommended while hoarding and panic buying are not, the trade department said.
It also asked the municipal information and communications department and the administrations of 24 districts to widely propagate this information among the city’s residents.
In separate discussions with Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper, representatives of supermarket chains MM Mega Market, Saigon Co.op, and VinMart all affirmed they currently have abundant inventories of rice, instant noodles, canned food, drinking water, eggs, meat, and toilet paper.
At a Co.op Mart supermarket on Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street in District 3 on Tuesday afternoon, Le Thi An was shopping for essentials to keep her family fed and comfortable over the next two weeks.
“Everything we need is here [and] nothing’s out of stock,” An told Tuoi Tre, glancing at a grocery list she had made beforehand.
Another shopper, Huynh Thi Le Thi from Binh Chanh District, said she was only looking to buy some vegetables for dinner as she did not feel the need to stock up on food.
“It’s only 15 days. You cannot eat so much,” Thi said, adding that being stress-free is more important to stay healthy during the epidemic.
Supermarkets said they allow purchases made via phone calls and instant messaging applications such as Viber and Zalo for the convenience of customers.
Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on Wednesday declared COVID-19 a nationwide infectious disease pandemic.
The government is doing its best to control the epidemic as the country has confirmed 222 cases of COVID-19 infection so far.
No death related to the disease has been reported while 63 patients have recovered and been discharged from the hospital to date.