HCMC – The Mekong Delta city of Can Tho is planning to reopen traditional wet markets in phases after several months of suspension due to the latest Covid-19 outbreak, said a city official.
Ha Vu Son, director of the municipal Department of Industry and Trade, yesterday, September 26, told Lao Dong newspaper that the department has issued a draft plan giving guidelines on reopening wet markets in the city in three phases.
From October 1 to December 31, a maximum of 50% of markets in green zones, which are deemed as safe from Covid, will be allowed to resume operations, with the number of booths selling essential food products at each market not allowed to exceed 50%.
In red zones, which are still at extremely high risk, the authorities will allow no more than 30% of markets that ensure safety to reopen. Moreover, the number of booths selling essential food products at each market must not exceed 30%.
From January 1 to March 31, the authorities will review the reopening of wet markets in the first phase and go ahead with further plans to reopen 50-70% of local markets depending on the Covid situation in the areas.
From April 1 onward, the city will continue to review the previous reopening. Once the pandemic in the city is completely brought under control, the city is expected to reopen 70-100% of wet markets citywide.
During these three phases, only markets that meet safety requirements are permitted to resume operations.
The department is collecting feedback on the draft plan from the local authorities and will then submit it to the municipal government for consideration and approval, Son said.
Earlier, Can Tho reported its first locally-infected case in the fourth wave of the coronavirus at the Tan An market in Ninh Kieu District on July 8. The outbreak then became complicated and spread widely, prompting the local authorities to suspend all markets in the city to slow the spread of the virus.
The city has recently eased mobility restrictions in most parts citywide and switched to practicing less stringent social distancing measures under the prime minister’s Directive 15. Only nine wards in Ninh Kieu and Cai Rang districts continue to enforce Directive 16. However, wholesale and traditional wet markets in the city will remain shut.
According to the department, the city is home to 105 various markets with over 6,000 vendors.