Retailers, foreigners may get Covid vaccination priority, one vendor latest patient in Hanoi
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A worker takes stock in a supermarket. (Photo courtesy of Masan Group)
The Ministry of Industry and Trade has proposed the government add workers at retail distribution systems to the Covid-19 vaccination prioritized group, saying they are vulnerable to infections during encounters with large influxes of customers at work. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health is also considering speeding up vaccination for foreign experts working in Vietnam.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has become more complicated. Many patients went shopping without knowing they had contracted the virus, forcing the facilities to shut. This could disrupt the goods supply chain,” the ministry said.
It also urged the health ministry to urgently allocate Covid-19 vaccines for retailers at supermarkets, convenience stores, traditional markets and grocery stores. Vaccine rollout for such groups should be sped up.
The proposal, if approved, would help protect retailers from contracting the virus upon coming into contact with customers. This would allow country’s supply chain of essential goods to run smoothly, ensuring daily life of the population and anti-pandemic efforts at the frontline battle. Essential good hold key importance to successful virus containment, no matter how dangerous the outbreaks are, the ministry said.
Supermarkets and other stores selling essentials are still allowed to operate while most establishments are closed, such as restaurants, cafés, bars parlors, hair salons, religious sites and travel destinations. Pandemic control protocols are being strictly deployed.
However, with the advent of more infectious and deadly new variants, it’s necessary for all retailers to be immunized. Along with anti-pandemic measures, vaccinations for individual is considered a fundamental and sustainable solution.
Some retailers have said they will pay for the vaccines, as reported by VNE.
Enterprises in other sectors including textile and garments, footwear, fisheries and electronics have also called for vaccination priority for their workers. Le Tien Truong, chairman of the Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group (Vinatex), said delayed deliveries could result in contract cancellations and penalties running into billions of dollars. Therefore, textile and garment workers should be prioritized for vaccination, especially in pandemic-hit areas like Bac Ninh and Bac Giang Provinces, HCMC and Hanoi.
"Vinatex is willing to pay for the vaccines," he said, adding that it was prepared to spend VND 100-200 billion (US$ 4.3-8.6 million) for the vaccinations.
The Private Economic Development Research Board has recommended that the government should allow enterprises to directly buy vaccines from suppliers for their employees.
|Foreign experts makes health declarationS upon arrival in Vietnam (Photo: Hanoi Times)|
Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai has also assigned the health ministry to give vaccine preference to foreign experts in Vietnam.
Since they are in charge of business activities of foreign enterprises in Vietnam, their demands for traveling and meeting people are high. Thus, they run a high risk of infection and spreading the virus to the community, the Private Economic Development Research Board explained.
Giving these expats Covid-19 vaccine priority would both control the pandemic and boost economic growth. The board suggested authorities apply a fee-based vaccination scheme for foreign experts instead of making it free, which it said could create incentives for promotion and investment attraction activities in Vietnam.
Current groups prioritized for Covid-19 vaccine in Vietnam
- Frontline medical workers
- Those in Covid-19 prevention and control (members of steering committees for Covid-19 responses at all levels, staff at quarantine sites, reporters among others)
- Diplomats, customs officers, and export-import officers
- Military forces
- Public security forces
- People over 65
- Those who work in essential service sectors like aviation, transport, tourism, water and electricity
- Those with chronic illnesses
- Those going abroad for study and work
- Residents in pandemic-hit areas
Vegetable vendor tests positive for Covid in Hanoi
The Hanoi Centre for Disease Control (CDC) confirmed on June 7 that a local resident who runs a fruit and vegetable stall in a wet market in Dong Anh town of Hanoi capital has been diagnosed with the virus.
The patient, a 45-year-old woman, had initially started to show symptoms of the Covid-19 on May 30 like a sore throat and snivel.
She then visited Bac Thang Long Hospital in order to undergo a checkup and have samples taken to check signs of the virus. The test proved on June 6.
The source of infection remains unknown, said the Hanoi CDC.
Local authorities scrambled to conduct field investigations and issued warnings against those visiting a number of locations in Dong Anh.
By utilising contact tracing methods, relevant agencies have initially identified and isolated 19 people in close contact with the patient.
At present, contact tracing is underway in an effort to swiftly quarantine and test individuals who came into contact with the vegetable vendor, VOV reported.
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