Saigonese flock to supermarkets to stock for social distancing

City-dwellers head to supermarkets hours before the southern metropolis entered 15 days of social distancing starting Monday.
May 31, 2021 | 17:28
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Saigonese flock to supermarkets to stock for social distancing
(Photo: VNE)

At the entrance of Emart supermarket, Go Vap district, hundreds of people stand waiting to enter the building. They are all to put on face mask, sanitize hands and stay distanced from others.

Nguyen Thanh Phong, chairman of the municipal People's Committee on Sunday issued the citywide social distancing order which banned all gatherings of 10 people or over. The order was imposed at a higher level in Go Vap district and District 12's Thanh Loc ward where people must stay at home during the two-week course and only go out for urgent purposes.

The city leader reminds people not to panic.

Ho Chi Minh Center for Disease Control also advised all residents against flocking to markets and commercial centers during this time period, saying crowds would violate social distancing regulations and pose an imminent threat of the virus spreading.

Saigonese flock to supermarkets to stock for social distancing
(Photo: VNE)

Meanwhile, in Mega Market, Thu Duc city, long lines of shoppers jam the entrance gate. The supermarket covering over 10,000 square meters only serves 250 customers at most at a time.

Tran Kim Nga, external relation director of the market, said the facility had set up barriers to limit the number of buyers. Only those with facemasks and normal body temperatures are allowed to enter.

"Mega Market promotes online shopping to avoid crowds," said one Russian expat, shopping to avoid crowds.

Saigonese flock to supermarkets to stock for social distancing
(Photo: VNE)

All aisle ways are packed.

Saigonese flock to supermarkets to stock for social distancing
(Photo: VNE)

There is still an abundance of fruits and veggies on the shelves.

Saigonese flock to supermarkets to stock for social distancing
(Photo: VNE)

"Normally, it's crowded at weekends. I try to go shopping early today, but there are still a lot of people,", Van, from Go Vap district, told VNE.

Saigonese flock to supermarkets to stock for social distancing
(Photo: VNE)

Raw meat shelves, however, are left empty at Saigon Co.op.

Saigonese flock to supermarkets to stock for social distancing
(Photo: VNE)

Nguyen Anh Duc, general director of the supermarket said more foods are stocking at warehouses, therefore, it would replenish the shelves soon.

Saigonese flock to supermarkets to stock for social distancing
(Photo: VNE)

One shopper sits on the floor while waiting for her turn to pay.

Saigonese flock to supermarkets to stock for social distancing
(Photo: VNE)

My Tien loads bread, vegetables, dried food, rice and other items onto the counter before paying for them.

"I thought there would be only me here stocking for foods. It turns out the demand is way higher than I imagine," Tien, one buyer said. "It took me two hours to get these foods for the next ten days."

Saigonese flock to supermarkets to stock for social distancing
(Photo: VNE)

Supermarket employees unload fresh cucumbers to restock its shelves.

Bui Ta Hoang Vu, director of the HCM City Department of Industry and Trade, said supermarkets and stores in the city are opening at full capacity to meet locals' demands. He advised, however, that people should go home if they see crowds inside a supermarket,

"They can come back on the following day because food supplies are always available, and it will be helpful in the Covid-19 fight."

Since April 27, the city has recorded a total of 157 infections.

More service establishment closed in HCMC More service establishment closed in HCMC

The latest move is part of the southern city's effort to contain the new resurgence related to a religious mission cluster.

HCMC's new Covid-19 cluster linked to 16 districts HCMC's new Covid-19 cluster linked to 16 districts

Over 403 individuals have been identified as having direct or indirect contact with new Covid-19 patients in the southern city.

HCM City bans gatherings of over 20 people in public spaces HCM City bans gatherings of over 20 people in public spaces

Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee has prohibited gatherings of more than 20 people in public spaces.

Jasmine Le

Insider

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