HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam – Like many other countries worldwide, Vietnam remains in the fight against COVID-19 and is now facing the recent fourth wave. This outbreak is hitting many industrial parks and manufacturing clusters, which affects the lives of millions of workers. In a one-day virtual workshop organized on July 6, Better Work Vietnam, in collaboration with the Vietnam Chamber of Industry and Trade – Ho Chi Minh city branch (VCCI-HCM), successfully organized a workshop to support enterprises in combating the growing COVID-19 surge.
The panel of industry leaders included: Mr. Nguyen Anh Tho (Deputy Director of the Department of Work Safety and Health, Ministry of Labour – Invalids and Social Affairs), along with Mr. Tran Anh Thanh (Vietnam Health Environment Management Agency, Ministry of Health), Mr. Vo Tan Thanh (Vice President of VCCI and Director of VCCI-HCM), and Ms. Nguyen Hong Ha (Programme Manager of Better Work Vietnam programme), among other factory representatives of Canon Vietnam Co., Ltd, Avery Dennison Vietnam Co., Ltd, and First Team Vietnam Garment Ltd., who shared their thoughts during several insightful sessions of the workshop.
Designed to be participatory and informative, the workshop encouraged participants to share lessons learned and practical examples of what has been done in their factories that can be tailored and reapplied in other factories to mitigate the COVID-19 impacts. With approximately 400 participants from both Better Work and non-Better Work participating factories, the participants mutually shared and analyzed the good practices and discussed the prevention and mitigation measures and policy responses that they have implemented to cope with the pandemic in their respective factories.
“An effective implementation of a COVID-19 prevention, control and assessment plan requires a good flow of information sharing and continuous learning. I hope that this workshop provides an opportunity for participants to actively discuss, share experience and learn from the best practices that have been successfully implemented in their and other factories,” said Nguyen Hong Ha.
Additionally, this discussion offered an opportunity for the government agencies to communicate with enterprises and share about COVID-19 prevention regulations and guidance in the workplace, issued by Vietnam’s Ministry of Health. Nguyen Anh Tho highlighted the importance of the close collaboration between the policy makers, local government agencies and enterprises. He also presented some challenges in the implementation strategy with two new government decisions (Decision No. 2194/QĐ-BCĐQG and Decision No. 2787/QD-BYT). Focused on prevention, control and assessment of COVID-19 infection risk and mitigation, these regulations are helpful references for factories when coping with having COVID-19 cases at the production and business establishments or industrial parks. These regulations were developed to assist enterprises in proactively early detecting and promptly handling suspected cases of COVID-19 ensuring continued safe production. The intention is to achieve dual goals of containing the pandemic and recovering the economy, to limit the negative impact of COVID-19 on economic development and social security of Vietnam.
“COVID-19 has already had a huge social impact, leaving many risks for Vietnam’s enterprises. Now is the time for unity,” said Nguyen Anh Tho. “I believe that we will be able to fully control and come through this situation if we work together. I hope that both employers and employees will strictly comply with the regulations issued by Vietnam Ministry and Health, strengthen their connections and re-ignite creativity to win against this pandemic.”
At the end of the workshop, the representatives from other government agencies further reiterated their willingness to support the enterprises, especially during these challenging times, with the aim to further support them in building back better in post- COVID-19 era. Better Work Vietnam will continue to report on ongoing efforts to bring the sector together to find solutions as the pandemic continues.