While the majority of businesses shamble in the shadow of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) epidemic in Vietnam, food delivery services are on a roll.
As more Ho Chi Minh City residents confine themselves to their homes over COVID-19 fear, food stalls and restaurants in downtown areas remain packed with customers, most of whom are delivery workers in vibrant uniforms waiting to pick up someone else’s order.
Facing the circumstances, food businesses are rapidly remodeling themselves.
Instead of focusing on the dine-in experience, many food stalls have gone takeaway-only for fear of infection risks from large gatherings.
Changes can also be witnessed around lunchtime at office buildings, where food delivery is in vogue.
“I usually eat out with my colleagues for lunch, but these days, out of fear for infection when going outside or entering crowded places, we have switched to ordering food online for convenience and safety,” said Nguyen Quynh Anh, an office worker in District 1.
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According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, stimulating online commerce channels and mobilizing the participation of e-commerce and logistics platforms are among the initiatives employed by the ministry to cope with COVID-19.
The novel coronavirus, which first emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019, has infected almost 220,000 people and killed nearly 9,000 globally, according to Ministry of Health statistics.
Vietnam has diagnosed 76 with the disease, of whom 16 had fully recovered and been discharged from the hospital by February 26.
Sixty cases have been reported in the Southeast Asian country since March 6 after Vietnam had gone three weeks without any new infection.
Among the cases being treated, 22 are foreigners, including 13 Britons, one Irishman, two Germans, one from the Czech Republic, one Latvian, one U.S. citizen, and three French nationals.