Industrial zones and seaports in Haiphong prioritise prevention

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The northern port city of Haiphong is prioritising efforts to prevent the virus spread within its seaports and industrial zones which are home to nearly 160,000 workers and experts.
1545 p7 industrial zones and seaports in haiphong prioritise prevention
Nomura IZ carried out COVID-19 tests for 139 foreign experts. Photo: Quang Hung

Local authorities and companies operating in industrial zones (IZs) have moved to the highest level in the fight against the fierce resurgence of the virus. Le Trung Kien, director of Haiphong Economic Zones Authority (HEZA), said that it has issued Document No.2044/BQL-QHXD requesting local businesses to follow COVID-19 infection control practices.

At the same time, the authority is closely monitoring employees from neighbouring provinces working at the IZs. In addition, HEZA also organised coronavirus testing for all foreign experts to ensure the utmost safety. “Leaders of IZs and enterprises are responsible for COVID-19 infection prevention measures at their sites. They need to inform any violations about mask-wearing, medical decalcification, and large gatherings to address the problem,” Kien said.

LG Innotek Vietnam Haiphong in Trang Due IZ hires over 2,000 employees. The company’s leaders have teamed up with grassroots unions to strengthen the infection control practices like checking body temperatures, washing hands with sanitiser, and wearing masks inside the factory. The company installed an automatic body temperature scanner to check all employees before entering the cafeteria, which is also equipped with partitions to ensure social distancing requirements. Meanwhile, the company disinfects the entire campus weekly to create a safe working environment for employees.

Do Quang Hung, deputy director of Nomura-Haiphong IZ Development Corporation, the operator of Nomura IZ, said the company has signed a contract with the city’s Preventive Medicine Centre to take coronavirus testing samples for nearly 140 foreign experts at the zone. At the same time, the company is working closely with HEZA to collect samples from 250 workers from Bac Giang and Bac Ninh provinces at 25 factories there. Nomura IZ tenants employ about 32,000 workers from Haiphong and neighbouring provinces.

Koen Soenens, general sales and marketing director of DEEP C IZs in Haiphong, said that DEEP C has actively collaborated with HEZA to adopt government pandemic prevention measures. The IZs regularly update the guiding documents of HEZA, and local authorities, about the COVID-19 situation on its system.

Furthermore, Haiphong has many seaports connecting with international trade. As the city is facing major threats from a surge in coronavirus cases, it has suspended maritime safety inspection for domestic ships while maintaining remote inspection for international ships in line with International Maritime Organization guidelines.

According to statistics from the Vietnam Maritime Administration, the volume of goods shipped through Vietnamese seaports reached around 236 million tonnes in the first four months of this year, up 8 per cent against last year’s period. Among them, seaports in Haiphong also saw an on-year increase of 20 per cent.

Nguyen Anh Vu, director of the Haiphong Maritime Administration, said that the city boasts a system of 42 seaports and two inland waterway ports. As of present, all ships have to go through a strict medical quarantine process at Hon Dau Anchorage before docking at Haiphong ports. Under the direction of the Vietnam Maritime Administration, the Haiphong Branch requests seafarers to perform safety and security operations during their duties on board while minimising contact with others.

In addition, the port authority has implemented electronic procedures at seaports to curb the transmission threats during the receipt of goods. Meanwhile, the port authority sends its email address for vessels and seafarers to resolve any issues in a timely manner as well as encouraging them to send documents by post, email, or social media in order to limit face-to-face exposure.

Many other foreign-invested enterprises in Haiphong have a large amount of export goods, but the pandemic has derailed the supply and demand chains, causing a shortage of containers and rising logistics costs. The longer quarantine period for foreign experts is also exerting negative pressure on business plans.

By Thanh Son

Nguồn: Vietnam Investment Review

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