Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh City businesses slowly resume production, but remain cautious about Covid-19

  • Vietnam
  • Saturday, 09 Oct 2021

A uniformed officer checks a motorcyclist's vaccination certificates and Covid-19 test results at a Covid-19 border checkpoint between Ho Chi Minh City and Long An province, in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, on Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021. - Bloomberg

HO CHI MINH CITY: Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh (HCM) City's companies are resuming production after months of closure, but remain cautious about the pandemic, only gradually reopening and getting workers back.

From October 1, they are not required to house workers onsite, and can merely register with local authorities if they want to reopen as long as they comply with safety criteria.

Some businesses with generous welfare policies have been able to keep their workers from going back to their hometown, and are able to resume easily.

Nguyen Hai Trung, general director of Daehan Motors Co, Ltd said the company’s truck manufacturing facility in the HCM City Automotive - Mechanical Industrial Park in Cu Chi District complies with safety norms and has increased production compared to the lockdown period.

Around 80 per cent of workers have returned since most are Cu Chi locals, he said.

Meanwhile, many other companies are struggling with a lack of manpower since workers who had returned home are currently unable to travel due to lockdowns and other restrictions.

Most businesses are not reopening too quickly since they first want to ensure production will not be halted again by the resurgence of the pandemic.

For example, Vietnam Organ Needle Trading Co., Ltd. is watching how other businesses are operating before deciding when it can switch to the so-called ‘four greens’ model that requires workers to have Covid-19 green cards, stick to a registered route while commuting to work and living in COVID-free areas, and workplaces to meet the city’s pandemic safety regulations.

Many businesses are still keeping their workers onsite despite the high costs.

Lap Phuúc Co, Ltd which specialises in mechanical moulds, is encouraging staff to continue living onsite, even until the Tet festival if they agree.

Its general director, Nguyeen Van Trí, told VnExpress online newspaper that since the city still has a high number of Covid infections, workers travelling between home and the workplace could easily spread the disease.

Dai Dung Mechanical Construction Commerce JSC is also continuing with this model, but plans to relax it once the number of community cases drops.

Trịnh Mạnh Hung, deputy general director of the company, said some of the workers are fatigued from living on premises for three months, but the company is keeping their spirits up by providing leisure options and a “strong” wi-fi connection.

Around 720 businesses in the city’s 17 export and industrial parks in HCM City have been operating with onsite accommodation for staff since July 15.

Only a few have allowed staff to return home since Sept 30.

Vo Haân Hoan, deputy chairman of the city People’s Committee, said businesses’ responsibility to protect their premises from the pandemic has only heightened after the lockdown has been lifted. - Vietnam News/ANN

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