Firms in Hanoi to resume operations as city lifts lockdown in parts

Living quarters of workers at an aluminium factory in Gia Lâm District, Hanoi. — VNA/VNS

HANOI (Vietnam News/Asia News Network): Hanoi's decision to partially lift the lockdown in parts of the capital city marked as low risk of Covid-19 has allowed a large number of businesses to resume operations, said firms.

Nguyễn Thái Sơn, deputy director of an aluminium producer in Phú Thị Industrial Park in Gia Lâm District, said the district authority has given the green light for his workers to commute to work from their residences. It has significantly lightened the burden for the firm after a long period of implementing the 3-on-site production model, which has been financially and logistically taxing.

Megapharco, a pharmaceutical company based in Chương Mỹ District, said the firm has restarted production since Sept 7 after a long hiatus since it recorded a Covid-19 infection among its workers. Megapharco has pledged to implement strict Covid-19 safety measures.

Nguyễn Văn Thược, director of a textile company in Thạch Thất District, said 90 per cent of his 140 workers have been vaccinated.

For the time being, the local authority has allowed 70 per cent of them to go back to work under the condition that they must register to live near the factory and in Covid-19 free areas.

Meanwhile, measures have been discussed to allow firms in medium-risk and high-risk areas to resume operations. The idea is to create a safe bubble to protect industrial compounds and allow them to function at minimum risk of spreading the virus.

Hoàng Văn Tiển, a union representative from Power Grids Vietnam JSC, said his firm managed to stay open by employing the 3-on-site model from the beginning of the fourth outbreak (late April).

During the two-month lockdown, 60 workers have stayed put within the compound and subjected to weekly Covid-19 tests. As of Sept 19, more than 93 per cent of them have received one jab and 5 per cent fully vaccinated.

Key components of the production model include weekly Covid-19 tests and limiting workers' contact with the outside world, according to Phạm Hoàng Long, director of ICHI Vietnam.

Based on the success of Power Grids Vietnam, the Hoàng Mai District authority has replicated the model in nine other firms in the district.

In addition, the city has recently announced a number of new policies designed to support newly established firms and to assist workers affected by the outbreak.

Notable among those include credit extension, postponement of loans and other payments, interest and banking fee cuts for businesses.

The city has also been in touch with commercial banks to help businesses secure much-needed capital to jumpstart operations in the new normal.

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