After closing their restaurant due to Covid-19, a couple in HCM City have offered free meals for low-income people in the area.
On April 5, a long line of people queued up outside Binh An vegetarian restaurant on Ngo Quyen Street. They are queuing to receive free meals, face masks and hand wash. Most of them are with poor background and earn little income from running motorbike taxis or selling lotto tickets.
The local guards also helped to distribute the meals while reminding everyone to wear face masks.
The restaurant owner Trang said she used to work at a hospital in Can Tho. After getting married, she and her husband moved to HMC City and opened a small restaurant. Their daily incomes are VND6m (USD256) to VND7m. After closing the restaurant, they have given 50-100 free meals to low-income people every day.
"I already feel difficult after two days, how will the lotto ticket sellers fare in 14 days? I just try to help them a bit to overcome this time," she said.
After seeing their work, many other people have volunteered to help. They provide both lunch and dinner. Trang said at first they gave over 1,000 meals. On April 5, they gave nearly 3,000 meals and expect more people to come in the future. Trang and her husband also donate rice, instant noodles and face masks to homeless people and those can't work anymore.
Do Thi Bich Ngoc, chairwoman of Ward 6 People's Committee, said Trang's restaurant had been recognised as one of the charity spots and police and local guards were sent to help. Lines have been drawn on the ground to remind people to stay 2 metres apart.
Trang said they would provide free meals until April 15. If social distancing is extended, they will also continue giving free meals.
Some photos of the restaurant offering free meals to low-income people in HCM City:
Neighbours help to prepare meals
People line up outside the restaurant
The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism has called on hotels and other lodgings to accommodate people who are helping with the response to COVID-19 like doctors, other health care providers and first responders.
Because of the impact of COVID-19 outbreak, many restaurants in HCM City are struggling and offering free delivery services to attract customers who are eating at home instead of going out.