Nearly half a million workers hit by latest Covid-19 wave
Workers at the Tan Thuan Export Processing Zone in HCMC’s District 7 are swabbed for Covid-19 testing. Nearly 500,000 workers have been affected by the current Covid-19 wave - PHOTO: PLO
HCMC – Nearly 500,000 workers nationwide have lost their jobs, been furloughed or underemployed during the fourth wave of Covid-19, which began in late April, said Nguyen Dinh Khang, chairman of the Vietnam General Confederation of Labor.
In addition, nearly 9,500 employees in 35 cities and provinces have been infected with Covid-19, accounting for over 31% of the country’s total community-transmitted cases. Some 60,000 and 160,000 workers were primary and secondary contacts of Covid-19 patients, respectively, news site Vnexpress reported.
The Vietnam General Confederation of Labor has spent VND113 billion to support more than 193,000 workers. Accordingly, coronavirus-infected workers have received VND3 million each, while those in direct contact with Covid-19 cases going through difficult circumstances have been offered VND1.5 million each.
The confederation has also encouraged enterprises to buy Covid-19 vaccines for their workers.
Predicting that the number of workers affected by the pandemic would continue rising, Khang said agencies and localities should speed up the disbursement of the VND26 trillion aid package, which benefits workers affected by the pandemic.
HCMC, which is now the country’s largest coronavirus hotspot, has 1.6 million workers in industrial parks and export processing zones, and its neighbors--Dong Nai and Binh Duong--have 1.2 million and one million employees, respectively. The Covid-19 pandemic has spread to factories in these three localities, forcing them to suspend their operations.
According to the HCMC Labor Federation, as of July 7, more than 1,900 Covid-19 cases in the city were workers. Most recently, Pouyuen Company, which has the largest number of workers in HCMC, at 56,000, has suspended its operations for 10 days to arrange accommodation and meals at work for its staff and conduct Covid-19 tests on all of its laborers.
In Dong Nai, the Pouchen Company has also allowed nearly 17,000 workers to stay home for 14 days after detecting a Covid-19 case. In late May, Bac Giang had to suspended four industrial parks to prevent the transmission of the virus, affecting nearly 140,000 laborers.
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