Vietnam News

Around 2.2 million workers left Vietnam and returned home

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It is estimated that around 2.2 million workers have left Vietnam’s major cities and returned to their hometowns due to the long-lasting pandemic impacts.

Vietnam’s General Statistics Office (GSO) said that as of Dec 15 last year, around 524,000 and 447,000 workers left Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, respectively.

About 600,000 left other southern Vietnam localities and over 676,000 localities in other regions, the GSO said.

According to the Vn Express, most of those who returned home were informal workers who were directly impacted by the Covid-19 social distancing measures.

Population and Labour Statistics Department head Pham Hoai Nam said the large reverse migration had led to worker shortages in several industries including textile and leather.

Those who went back to their hometowns have also found it difficult to get new jobs and this made authorities to implement new labour policies to push job market recovery, he said.

However, towards the end of 2021, the labour market showed signs of recovery and the number of people with jobs and average monthly income increased.

At the same time, the unemployment rate decreased compared to the third quarter of the year.

The GSO said the number of employed workers aged 15 and above was at 49.1 million, or 1.8 million more than the previous quarter.

Unemployment rate dropped from 3.98 per cent to 3.56 per cent compared to the previous quarter, while monthly average income increased by VND130,000 to VND5.3 million (US$232.97).

The GSO noted that the average income of workers in 2021 dropped from VND7.03 million to VND6.5 million compared to 2020.

Meanwhile, the Express reports that many people including those fully vaccinated are now more worried about long-term complications due to Covid-19.

In the fourth coronavirus wave, Hanoi has so far recorded nearly 57,000 infections, including around 20,000 detected within the community.

With the nation shifting its coronavirus strategy to living with Covid and easier access to vaccine, drugs and information, people have become less anxious even when they get infected.

But long Covid remains a challenge that scientists around the globe are grappling with.

Long Covid, also known as the post-Covid-19 syndrome, is a condition characterised by symptoms like fatigue, headache, anxiety and insomnia, which persist weeks or months after testing negative for the coronavirus.

Those who’ve had Covid-19 are five to six times more likely to experience these conditions than those who haven’t, said Nguyen Viet Chung with the Department of Mental Health at the E Hospital in Hanoi.

However, while worries about long Covid are valid, people should not place too much weight on them, especially after outbreaks are put under control and the majority of cases are mild, he said.

Nguyen Minh Nguyen, a doctor at the Covid-19 Patient Treatment facility under the Hanoi Medical University Hospital, said around 80 to 85 per cent of current coronavirus cases are either asymptomatic or have mild symptoms.

Long Covid is more likely to happen to those with severe symptoms like lung damage, he added.

“You can’t get long Covid if you don’t get infected,” he said, adding that the current goal is to vaccinate the population to foster immunity and prevent infection.

Do Van Dung, head of the Department of Public Health at the HCMC University of Medicine and Pharmacy, said the principle should be trying to prevent infections without letting it affect people’s daily lives, he said.

“Covid-19 is like a collective trauma,” Chung said, adding that anyone could be impacted by it mentally, especially young children.

New Straits Times – January 7, 2022

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