Vietnam and Covid: Difficulties pile up after social distance

A checkpoint for people to go to the street during social distance was congested on August 9, 2021.

“From April to now, it’s been closed, almost half a year people can’t do anything. Everyone has to spend their savings… It’s hard to do anything because people don’t have the money to buy it.” That is the opinion of Mr. Dang Thanh Trung, owner of a facility specializing in producing bottled purified water in Long Bien district, Hanoi.

The social distances and restrictions on going out have been continuously implemented in Hanoi in recent time, causing his establishment to close for several months because it could not sell goods, even if someone ordered it, it would not be possible transport to. Workers quit, but he still had to manage to pay them to keep them, avoid having to hire new people and re-train them. Currently, his establishment is in danger of bankruptcy and dissolution. Schools continue being closed, not requesting his orders. Companies-enterprises only buy at the bare minimum. As for households, almost no longer consume his bottled water.

In the same situation as Mr. Trung, Ms. Nguyen Thu Thuy, a resident of Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi, is very worried when her family’s income has plummeted because of the COVID-19 epidemic. She is an official in a State Corporation and also does a part-time job outside. Thuy now only depends on the monthly salary of civil servants, which is not enough to support her family.

This year is more difficult than last year. Last year, there were only a few breaks, and each period was also short, so besides the income at work, I can still do this and that, and have many more accounts. But this year, the social distance is continuous and prolonged like this, so there is nothing to do,” she shared.

According to Ms. Thuy, many families like her have had to spend their savings and up to this point, the money has been exhausted but still haven’t seen new opportunities. She said that now she has to try to save money, squeeze so that it is enough for the couple’s meager salary, luckily, she can last through this year.

Whoever asks for help now can only help with food, but no money,” Nguyen Minh Dung, an official in Hanoi’s Hoan Kiem district, told VOA.

Mrs. Dung said that recently, a nephew came to her to ask for help due to the failure of business due to COVID, but she could not afford it when the family’s salary was only enough for frugality. She was only able to help make some food available thanks to a clean food program that her agency ordered for employees and deducted directly from wages.

According to Ms. Dung, contrary to the joyful mood of some young people when Hanoi reopens and shops are allowed to welcome customers, the main workers in the family like her are worried about a particularly difficult time. After a long time of separation to fight the Covid pandemic. (Translated)


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