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Wednesday February 1st, 2023

Vietnam deploys military to support lockdown in Ho Chi Minh City as deaths climb

ECONOMYNEXT – Vietnam deployed the military on the streets of Ho Chi Minh City on August 23, more than two months after local authorities failed to enforce a lockdown and Coronavirus infections and deaths climbed overwhelming health services.

Gun-toting soldiers were pictured on the streets of Saigon, a city where usually a traffic policeman is hard to come by.

Vietnam has seen a spike in Coronavirus with most of the cases coming from the South economic powerhouse of Ho Chi Minh City formerly Saigon where the naughty residents defied lockdown directives.

On August 23, the government announced 11,208 new Coronavirus cases of which 4,193 came from Ho Chi Minh City and 3,795 from nearby Bin Duong, compared to 11 in Hanoi where movement restrictions are followed better.

After two day 737 deaths were reported 15 cities and provinces on August 23, sending the total death toll to 8,277.

With 370,836 vaccine doses administered today, the total inoculated doses reached 15,274,648, with 1,791,248 people given two doses.

Saigonites born after late 1970s have not heard the word ‘curfew’ and have no idea it means, a longtime resident of the city said.

Matters were further complicated as the words used to describe various directives on restrictions are similar to social distancing rather than a lockdown.

Naughty residents told off policemen coming to check travel documents pointing out that they were breaking the two metre social distancing rule, widely shared videos showed.

Arguments with police were filmed ignoring requests not to do so, as residents insisted that police had no authority to control their smart phones.

Authorities last week put in place a night time curfew, assigned shopping days with tickets, but residents continue to argue with police and travel around, reports said.

On August 20, Nguyen Thanh Phong, Chairman of the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City was re-assigned as Deputy Head of the Central Economic Commission, Vietnam’s Tuoitre newspaper reported, without giving reasons.

Soldiers from the North and other areas were transported to Saigon, officially to help distribute food to the poor and help with harvests.

On social media there were comments of a ‘second liberation day’ from some residents, in reference to the fall of Saigon in 1975.

Media also broadcast a countdown style messages up to the midnight, in a psychological battle of wits to convince residents that this time it was different.

Groups of soldiers were pictured marching down alleys of Saigon in the morning of August 23, to ‘familiarize themselves to distribute food’ Tuoitre said.

But the busy streets of HCMC were quiet on Monday the report said. (Colombo/Aug23/2021)

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Sri Lanka coconut prices ease at auction

ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka’s coconut auction prices fell in the last auction in January 2023, with average prices going down by 4.1 percent at an auction on January 26, data showed.

The average price for 1,000 nuts fell to 80.811.89 from 84,116.85 a week earlier at the weekly auction conducted by Sri Lanka’s Coconut Development Authority.

The highest price was 87,300 rupees for 1,000 nuts down from the previous week’s 90,200 rupees, while the lowest was 72,500 down from 73,000 rupees.

The auction offered 469,564 coconuts and 300,983 nuts were sold. (Colombo/ Feb 01/2023)

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Sri Lanka shares edge up at close

ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka’s shares edged up on Wednesday pushed as investors bought in to beaten down shares following the previous session’s drop, market analyst said.“

At this price level what we are seeing is a lot of confidence from the investors to collect when the prices drop. So, the market is not falling sharply,” a market analyst said.

Market had also seen buying in Expolanka shares on speculation that the parent company of SG Holdings was buying back into the shares.

All Share Price Index (ASPI) edged up by 0.96 percent or 84.96 points to 8,950.01.

The most liquid index S&P SL20 gained 1.27 percent or 35.02 points to 2,799.53.

Banking and Insurance counters had seen interest on the back of positive sentiments from the IMF.

The central bank has said it could cut interest rates in future when the the country sees fall in inflation, which has already started decelerating.

The market saw a turnover of 1.5 billion rupees today,lower than the month’s daily average of 1.8 billion rupees and nearly half of 2022 average turnover of 2.9 billion rupees.

The bourse saw a flow of net foreign inflow of 45 million rupees extending the net offshore buying to 1.9 billion so far this year.

Top gainers of the day were Commercial Bank, Expolanka, and Ceylinco Insurance. (Colombo/Feb01/2023)

 

 

 

 

 

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Sri Lanka bond yields down at close

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s bond yields were down at close following a bond auction on Wednesday, dealers said while a guidance peg for interbank transactions remained unchanged.

“The rates were steady at the auction,” a dealer said.

“This can be a signal to the market saying the rates will go down in the future.”

A bond maturing on 01.07.2025 closed at 32.40/60 percent, down from yesterday’s 32.60/85 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.05.2027 closed at 29.10/35 marginally down from yesterday’s 29.20/75 percent.

The Central Bank’s guidance peg for interbank US dollar transactions remained unchanged at 362.14 rupees against the US dollar.

Commercial banks offered dollars for telegraphic transfers at 371.38 rupees on Friday, data showed. (Colombo/Feb 01/2022)

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