Acting Director of the Hanoi’s Department of Industry and Trade Tran Thi Phuong Lan told The Hanoi Times the city is committed to ensuring sufficient basic necessities for the people during the social distancing rule.
|Mobile selling point at Phuc Xa Ward, Ba Dinh District. Photos: The Hanoi Times|
It has been two weeks since Hanoi adopted the social distancing measures against the Covid-19 pandemic. How Hanoi has been able to meet locals’ demand for food?
We reckon that the locals’ demand for rice is around 93,000 tons per month, and the city is able to meet 65% of that volume, while the remaining is provided from other provinces/cities.
It is estimated that the city could meet 98% of the people’s demand for pork, 20% for beef, and 60% for vegetables, and the remaining would be sourced from neighboring cities/provinces.
What is the city’s plan to ensure sufficient supplies of basic necessities for the public?
The local authorities have been working with retailers in the city to stockpile food and products. So far, we are able to guarantee the locals a three-month supply with a volume of goods worth up to VND194 trillion (US$8.52 billion).
In this regard, we have stocked up 836,000 tons of rice, over 167,000 tons of pork, 48,150 tons of beef, 55,780 tons of poultry, and over one million eggs.
Meanwhile, the Department of Industry and Trade has requested major food producers in the city expand production capacity in case demands spike up.
Along with supplies from within the city, Hanoi has reached agreements to buy rice, pork, beef, and vegetables from other provinces/cities, including Nam Dinh, Thai Binh, Ninh Binh, Ha Nam, Bac Ninh, Ha Giang, Son La, or Vinh Phuc.
|AEON's mobile selling points at Long Bien District.|
What have been the difficulties so far in stockpiling basic necessities for the city?
During the social distancing period, the transportation of goods around the city has been impacted by heightened restriction measures. A number of supermarkets were forced to close due to their locations within the quarantine zones or their staff acquired coronavirus.
Moreover, there has been a shortage of personnel in supermarkets or in the delivery process. We also have not received specific instructions from the Government in the distribution of farm produce during the pandemic, which causes difficulties for all parties, from farmers to distributors to take such products to customers.
To date, over 20 wholesale and wet markets, 52 supermarkets, and convenience stores are temporarily closed. What are the solutions to this situation?
In case many wet markets are closed simultaneously, the city would turn to 2,500 mobile selling points while arranging wet markets in safe places. We also asked stores to turn to sell groceries and open 24 hours per day.
The local authorities are looking for unoccupied lands, stations, stadiums, or markets to establish the distribution hubs of basic necessities. In that case, Ha Dong station, Hanoi South Industrial Cluster, Tien Duoc Resettlement Area, or Hoang Quoc Viet Exhibition Center would be revamped for that purpose.
Thank you for your time!