Seafood industry urges vaccination for workers as 70 per cent of factories are closed

August 03, 2021 | 19:01
The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) has just sent an official dispatch to the prime minister and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, requesting vaccination for their workers as more than 70 per cent of businesses had to halt production.
Seafood industry urges vaccination for workers as 70 per cent of factories are closed
Less than a third of seafood producers can operate even at reduced headcounts. Photo:

VASEP has also appealed to the government to implement mass vaccination for workers at the soonest to maintain stable production and export.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses and factories have carried out the “three on the spot” mechanism, in which workers execute their tasks, take their meals, and rest after work at the same place to keep safe. However, businesses have found it extremely difficult to maintain stable production while costs have skyrocketed considerably.

According to VASEP, 270 enterprises, mainly located in the Mekong River Delta and the South Central provinces, have strictly implemented the "three on the spot" model.

Almost all localities in the area have also directed businesses to only maintain their operations if they can follow the “three on the spot” or “one road, two locations” mechanism to prevent infections at factories and industrial parks.

According to VASEP, only about 30 per cent of seafood enterprises in the southern provinces can comply with "three on the spot" production. The remaining 70 per cent had to close.

Besides, even though some factories can operate, they can only maintain active staffing at 30-50 per cent while the rest had to quit or take unpaid leave.

Truong Dinh Hoe, general secretary of VASEP said that although fighting against the pandemic is the top priority at the moment, it is still necessary for the government to support businesses in maintaining production and the circulation of essential goods and restore production and export.

Apart from people working at health facilities and related officials who have to come into contact with people, the elderly, and people with underlying diseases, workers in production in factories in industrial zones should also be prioritised for vaccination.

“Adding workers at seafood processing plants to the list of people for immediate vaccination will maintain both exports and production while securing jobs for many workers, including farmers and fishermen exploiting the sea and producing raw materials,” Hoe said.

Besides, VASEP suggested that the implementation of the "three on the spot" model is only a temporary initiative that is not sustainable over a longer timescale. Therefore,it is necessary to adopt a flexible plan for enterprises that are temporarily suspending production so that they can resume production by the end of the year and meet increased export orders.

For example, enterprises will actively coordinate with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to organise testing for their employees twice a month. The test samples will be sent to the health agency, with those testing negative receiving permission to pass through transport check points. The CDC will also organise testing for enterprises once a month, thus ensuring each worker is tested three times a month.

By Lam Tien - Truc Anh

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