The supply of essential goods, including food, foodstuffs, face masks, and hand sanitizers must be ensured by all means to meet the demand of people amid the unpredictable developments of the Covid-19 pandemic, said Mr. Do Thang Hai, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade (MoIT).
According to Mr. Tran Duy Dong, Director of the Domestic Market Department under the MoIT, the commodity market in July was fairly active with stimulus and promotional activities following the trade promotion programs launched by the MoIT and provinces. The supply of goods was plentiful and relatively stable. During that time, because it was hot season and students were in summer break so the demand for traveling and services also increased highly and the market was vibrant. The purchasing power was more optimistic than the previous months.
However, after Da Nang City and Quang Nam Province announced cases of Covid-19 and isolated the entire city of Da Nang, the people’s psychology has become more discreet so the demand for tourism has significantly decreased. As for the market situation, because provinces and enterprises have had experience in implementing response measures so essential food commodities have always been provided sufficiently at stable prices. People have no longer hurriedly flocked to buy goods to reserve like before. According to Mr. Tran Duy Dong, in the previous turn of the pandemic, the MoIT quickly developed the scenarios for goods supply and instructed provinces to implement under the proposed scenario. Currently, when the outbreak reoccurs, the ministry has activated these scenarios. At the same time, basing on the actual situation, it has sent an official dispatch to provinces and enterprises on ensuring the supply of goods to people, especially products for the prevention and the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, and at the same time encouraged enterprises to take measures to increase online sales.
In Da Nang City alone, due to mentality on the evening of July 29 and on the morning of July 30, lots of people had flocked to buy goods for stockpiling. Mr. Nguyen Ha Bac, Director of the Department of Industry and Trade of Da Nang City and the representatives of distribution channels in the area also affirmed that markets and supermarkets in Da Nang City will still operate normally. There will be no closure of markets and supermarkets. The traffic is smooth, the supply of goods is not interrupted and constantly arrives at the city daily so people should not hoard goods.
The Department of Industry and Trade of Da Nang City sent an official dispatch to commercial centers, supermarkets, convenience stores, grocery stores, units that provide rations, food, foodstuffs, necessities, units that produce and trade medical masks, disinfectant hand sanitizers, and medical supplies and equipment in Da Nang City, to request them to build a plan of balancing and storing goods and ensure sufficient supply of medical masks, hand sanitizers, medical supplies and equipment, consumer goods, food, foodstuffs, and daily necessities for the people. The department ordered that they must not hoard goods, speculate, and overcharge, causing uncertainties to the market.
Besides the supply of goods, market inspection and surveillance were also got the attention of the MoIT. Mr. Nguyen Quang Huy, General Department of Market Surveillance, said that right after the recurrence of Covid-19 outbreak, the General Department instructed the local market surveillance authorities to continue coordinating to strengthen inspection and control on the market, in which, they must focus on medical equipment items, food, and foodstuffs. In Da Nang City, on the 28th and 29th of July, the market surveillance authority detained 58,000 masks without clear origins and invoices, and they have continued to clarify and strictly handle them according to the regulations.
Ho Chi Minh City: Goods supply is plentiful
It is recorded in the market in HCMC in recent days that goods were abundant and plentiful while the prices are stable. There is no situation of people lining up or elbowing each other out to buy goods in supermarkets. Mr. Do Quoc Huy, Marketing Director of Saigon Co.op, said that this unit has carried out stockpiling of essential goods and scheduled a route to step-by-step restart response measures at Saigon Co.op’s supermarkets and retail stores, of which the starting point was Co.opmart Da Nang supermarket.
Accordingly, a series of response measures will be activated by Saigon Co.op. Essential goods will be guaranteed with reserves at a safe level. At the same time, the volume of antimicrobial cloth masks, medical masks, and hand-washing gels, as well as human resource, and transportation options, have already been ready for Saigon Co.op Co.opmart, Co.opXtra, Co.op Food, and Co.opSmile supermarkets across the country.
Compared to the peak of the previous turn of the pandemic, Saigon Co.op now has added separate options of goods and transportation for each locality and region. Saigon Co.op is currently paying special attention to transportation options and isolation measures for supermarkets in Da Nang City, Quang Nam Province, and Hue City, heading to neighboring areas with supermarkets. Ho Chi Minh City and other provinces where Co.opmart supermarkets are located have been on high alert following the developments of the pandemic.
Many other supermarket networks, such as Big C, Lotte Mart, Vinmart, and Mega Market, also provide sufficiently a wide range of essential goods. As for medical masks, antimicrobial cloth masks, and hand sanitizers, supermarkets still receive them daily, so they can ensure the demand of the people in the situation that the pandemic develops complicatedly.
To contribute to the effective prevention of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Ho Chi Minh City government directed the city’s force 389 on anti-smuggling, trade fraud and counterfeit goods to strengthen control on the market and the prices of essential goods, especially for medical equipment, such as masks, and disinfectant liquid; the market surveillance authority, police, and customs to strengthen the control of illegal smuggling, hoarding goods, and overcharging of medical equipment, and strictly handle violations.