The Ministry of Planning and Investment’s estimate warned however that if the pandemic worsened, 400,000 would lose their jobs and three million more could be laid off.
From January 1 to March 26, over 153,000 people applied for unemployment benefits, mostly former workers in the transportation, garment, footwear, tourism, hospitality, and food sectors.
Nearly 35,000 businesses shut down during the first quarter, a record number.
Vietnam’s GDP growth in the first quarter is estimated at 3.82 percent year-on-year, the lowest in the last 10 years.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc ordered “non-essential” businesses like massage parlors, karaoke bars, tourist and amusement sites, movie theaters, beauty salons, beer shops, restaurants, and eateries to be closed until April 15, saying the country was entering a critical two-week stage in its Covid-19 fight.
If the epidemic continues for over six months, 74 percent of firms in Vietnam would go bankrupt since revenues would fail to cover operational expenses, a survey by the Private Economic Development Research Board (IV Board) of over 1,200 firms in early March found.
Vietnam has recorded 251 Covid-19 infections as of Wednesday. Of them, 126 have recovered and been discharged.
The disease has claimed more than 82,000 lives in 209 countries and territories.
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