The Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade has asked authorities in provinces and cities to give COVID-19 vaccination priority to workers in the transport and logistics industries for securing smooth circulation of goods.
Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai made the request in an urgent dispatch sent to the provincial and municipal authorities on Friday, after receiving many reports from related associations and enterprises on the current congestion of goods and production material transportation in several localities.
According to the reports, there has been inaccurate judgment of the role of transport and logistics forces in production, business and consumption activities, which has resulted in the poor circulation of goods in recent time.
Local authorities have only focused on whether the transported goods is essential, not urgent issues in pandemic prevention.
As a result, workers in the sectors have suffered complicated quarantine processes, causing time waste and soaring costs to businesses.
The problem has greatly obstructed the government’s dual goal of preventing and controlling the pandemic while ensuring economic development, as the role of transport and logistics staff is as important as that of frontline medical workers, the reports said.
As a solution to this issue, the Ministry of Industry and Trade has requested authorities in provinces and cities to prioritize COVID-19 vaccines for transport and logistics workers, especially drivers, drivers' assistants, interprovincial transport workers, and employees at seaports and border gates.
At the same time, the ministry has also proposed the Ministry of Health consider amending regulations and guidelines on priority groups for free COVID-19 vaccination to include the aforementioned subjects.
Authorities have administered nearly six million vaccine shots, since Vietnam rolled out inoculation on March 8.
About 588,800 people have been fully vaccinated.
Vietnam on Saturday morning reported 4,060 new cases of COVID-19, including 2,503 cases in Ho Chi Minh City, increasing the country's tally to 141,122, with 35,484 recoveries and 1,161 deaths, according to the Ministry of Health.
Ho Chi Minh City has recently led the nation with 88,566 cases reported in the ongoing infection wave and thousands of patients registered per day.
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