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Saigon Approves $39m Aid Package for Workers, Businesses Affected by Covid-19

The city's outbreak has severely impacted the livelihoods of many residents.

The Saigon Times reports that the municipal People's Council has approved a VND886 billion (US$38.5 million) relief package to support people impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.

The beneficiary groups include those in quarantine, frontline workers, furloughed employees, staff currently taking unpaid leave, freelance/non-contract workers, social insurance holders, household businesses, and market traders.

Specifically, up to 10,000 city residents in quarantine will receive VND80,000 per day for food for six months. A further 10,000 people directly involved in efforts to contain the outbreak will get VND120,000 for meals each day for a period of 180 days.

Employees who are either furloughed or on unpaid leave at production facilities, private education centers, kindergartens and schools will get a one-time payment of VND1.8 million. This group includes roughly 80,000 people.

A further 20,000 workers whose labor contracts expire between May 1 and December 31 but are not eligible for unemployment will also receive VND1.8 million in financial aid.

Lastly, freelance or uncontracted workers such as street vendors, scrap collectors, waiters at restaurants and employees of other businesses forced to close due to social distancing measures will get VND50,000 per day that Directive 15 is in place. This segment accounts for around 230,000 people.

Meanwhile, household businesses in Go Vap District and District 12's Thanh Loc Ward, which were placed under the strict Directive 16 for two weeks earlier this month, will be eligible for VND2 million in support, and wet market vendors will have 50% of their stall service fees covered by the city through the end of this year.

Almost 50,000 employees in Saigon have been laid off since the start of this outbreak, Vietnam's most serious of the entire pandemic, and many businesses are struggling after a full month of social distancing measures.

In April 2020, amid the country's first infection wave, the central government released US$2.6 billion to support workers and businesses nationwide.