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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