Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Mind Covid or shutter: HCMC tells businesses

Mind Covid or shutter: HCMC tells businesses

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A street near Thi Nghe Market area in Binh Thanh district is empty on the first day of a 15-day lockdown in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC). VIET NAM NEWS

Mind Covid or shutter: HCMC tells businesses

All businesses in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) that do not meet Covid-prevention measures need to shut down from July 15 amid the worsening pandemic situation.

Duong Anh Duc, vice-chairman of the Vietnamese city’s People’s Committee, said one of the requirements is to arrange accommodation and food for workers.

Alternatively, workers must be able to live in dormitories or hotels with transportation arranged to the work site, he said.

The move follows a surge in the number of workers testing positive at high-tech zones, export processing zones, industrial parks, and high-tech zones, posing a high risk of transmission.

The infections include some 400 at 50 companies at the Tan Thuan Export Processing Zone in District 7 and 750 at the Saigon Hi-Tech Park in Thu Duc City.

The virus has spread to most industrial zones, export processing zones and hi-tech zones.

They are required to perform Covid rapid tests on their workers every week.

The city administration has instructed the Department of Health to verify if businesses meet the safety requirements to remain open and set up 100 inspection teams for it.

The teams have checked all factories and companies in high-risk areas, and those considered medium- to high-risk must improve their Covid prevention measures or face closure.

People’s Committee chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong said HCMC plans to use 15 vacant land plots and 15 unused factories and warehouses to quarantine workers.

Duong Chi Nam, deputy director of the Ministry of Health’s Department of Health Environment Management, said it is important to enhance prevention measures at businesses both inside and outside export processing zones and industrial parks, pointing out when a large number of workers gather there in an extremely high risk of serious outbreaks.

Such infection clusters could disrupt production and supply chains, seriously affecting the economy, he added.

HCMC has 1.6 million workers in factories, of whom 320,000 working in its 17 industrial parks and export processing zones and one high-tech zone.

Experts have warned that hospitals and factories and industrial zones are among the most important locations for Covid prevention measures.

Speaking at a meeting on July 14, Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The said HCMC needs to work with provinces to ensure smooth transport of essential goods and sustain production and supply chains so that the public has access to food and other necessary items.

“Provinces must work with functional forces at HCMC’s entry checkpoints to ensure smooth circulation of goods during the lockdown.”

They need to create conditions to vaccinate and test drivers and other transport workers and use technology to minimise the time vehicles spend at the checkpoints, he said.

Provinces should consider mandatory medical isolation for drivers returning from epicentres like HCMC, he said.

Provincial transport departments have been told to instruct businesses to conduct Covid tests and monitor their employees’ health status in accordance with regulations, he said.

“Businesses and drivers who violate rules will be severely penalised.”

He has instructed the Directorate for Roads of Vietnam to develop plans for transport activities whenever a city or province announces social distancing under Directive 15 or 16.

HCMC set up the pandemic checkpoints at its gateways on July 9 after starting its 15-day lockdown to ensure drivers entering the city do not have Covid.

The number of cases in HCMC is expected to keep rising due to the extensive testing in high-risk areas such as export processing zones, industrial parks, hi-tech zones, and leased apartments.

Dr Nguyen Hoai Nam, deputy director of the city Department of Health, said: “The number of cases per day has exceeded 1,000 for five consecutive days. But the number will decrease when testing is expanded to less risky areas.”

HCMC has had more than 18,200 cases since the outbreak began in late April.



  • 12th Cambodia int’l film festival to see return of Hollywood star

    Phnom Penh is set to come alive with the magic of cinema as the highly anticipated 12th Cambodia International Film Festival (CIFF) takes centre stage. Boasting an impressive line-up of 188 films from 23 countries, including captivating shorts, feature films, documentaries and animation, the festival promises an

  • Bareknuckle champion wants Kun Khmer fighter

    Dave Leduc, who is the current openweight Lethwei boxing champion in Myanmar, has announced that he will travel to Cambodia this year to challenge SEA Games gold medallist Prum Samnang any time that is convenient, after their planned match later this month in Slovakia was

  • Struggling Battambang artist dreams of staging full-scale gallery exhibition

    Leav Kimchhoth, a 55-year-old artist from Battambang province, is a familiar face to locals and tourists alike on the streets of the riverside in Phnom Penh. The one-armed painter and illustrator often hawks his work near the night market on weekends and public holidays. He

  • Fresh Covid warnings as Thai hospital fills

    A senior health official reminds the public to remain vigilant, as neighbouring countries experience an increase in Covid-19 cases, with the latest surge appearing to be a result of the Omicron XBB.1.5 sub-variant. Or Vandine, secretary of state and spokeswoman for the Ministry of Health,

  • New Law on Taxation comes into effect

    Cambodia has enacted the eagerly-awaited new Law on Taxation, which aims to improve the national tax regime’s compliance with present and future international standards and economic conditions; encourage accountability, effectiveness and transparency in the collection process; and promote investment in the Kingdom. King Norodom

  • PM warns of int’l election interference

    With the national election scheduled to take place in less than two months, Prime Minister Hun Sen has warned foreign nations and their diplomats not to interfere into Cambodia’s domestic affairs. He also hinted that their statements on court verdicts handed down to any