Garment 10 Corp. Making Active Response to Pandemic

8:23:25 AM | 12/10/2021

Faced with enormous challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Garment 10 Corporation has actively captured up-to-date information, carried out many solutions to prevent and control the pandemic in order to continue production and provided timely support for the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in the past two years. Mr. Than Duc Viet, General Director of Garment 10 Corporation, grants an exclusive interview to Vietnam Business Forum’s reporter on these issues.

Could you please tell us about your business operations since the fourth outbreak of COVID-19?

As soon as the fourth outbreak began, we launched an effective pandemic prevention and control scenario: Informing of strict adherence to the required measures, opening disinfection chambers, measuring body temperature, and adjusting working shifts and lunch hours in line with physical distancing principles.

The Pandemic Prevention and Control Board of Garment 10 Corporation has actively worked out effective and flexible scenarios in response to the pandemic to protect employees’ health and safety. The most important work is screening, tracing and localizing employees exposed to infection risks. “Anyone exposed to suspected infections will stay at home. Dining tables are equipped with separating partitions and limited to a maximum of four people. COVID-19 posters are displayed on the tables to inform employees to follow pandemic prevention instructions.

In the first and second quarters of 2021, the corporation’s orders increased but its revenue failed to meet the target because 15 - 20% of employees could not go to work because of direct or indirect contact with infections. In addition, the output of conventional items contracted, causing it to shift to lower-value substitutes such as knitwear, clothes and children’s wear.

Early vaccination for employees is a top priority for any businesses. How have vaccinations been rolled out at Garment 10 Corporation? Do you have any recommendations to this effect?

For Garment 10, it is very difficult to keep jobs for thousands of employees, but it is much harder to keep them all healthy and safe, which is an increasingly difficult problem. To deal with this, Garment 10 must keep production alive to fulfill commercial contracts while drastically applying all necessary pandemic prevention and control measures: Launching a 3-level prevention plan; developing a "three in-situ” option, ensuring factory workers to go to work as guided in the Government’s Directive 16 and allowing office workers to work online from home.

Previously, a production cycle lasted from 3-6 months, but it lasted shorter from 2020, shrinking even to a daily basis.

For exporters like Garment 10 Corporation, vaccination coverage determines the number of contracts signed. Many partners said that if vaccination rates are high, they will sign contracts, even some partners asked the Government when Vietnam can control the pandemic. Since July, Garment 10 Corporation has made an unprecedented report on employee vaccination rates.

In the current context of “dual tasks” in place, most businesses are seeking access to COVID-19 vaccines because vaccination costs are equal to only a third of PCR tests. This is a radical, long-term and economical solution. Garment 10 Corporation always hopes to support the Government to socialize vaccine sources, considering it as a sustainable approach to protecting human health. Currently, 90% of its employees in Hanoi have been vaccinated, but its employees in Nam Dinh, Thanh Hoa, Quang Binh and Bac Ninh provinces have not been. It is very difficult to access vaccines in low-risk provinces. We believe that it is necessary to build a solid green zone. If we go one step ahead, we will stay strong in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic. And, it will be too late for us when the pandemic is out of control.

Garment 10 Corporation has launched a series of support measures for local pandemic prevention since the beginning of 2021: Donating more than 350,000 facemasks and 3,000 protective suits worth more than VND550 million; donating VND2 billion to the Vaccine Fund of the Vietnam Fatherland Front of Hanoi City and nearly VND500 million to the Social Charity Fund.

In recent years, grassroots healthcare is a matter of concern at Garment 10 Corporation. How important is grassroots healthcare development in the fight against the complicated development of the pandemic?

Garment 10 is one of a few Vietnamese apparel companies dedicated to the safety of workers. It has sufficient social infrastructure, ranging from healthcare, education, vocational training, supermarket, hotel, dormitory and cultural works.

Starting from a military uniform maker established in 1947 in Na Lua, Boc Nhieu, Dai Tu, Tay Ninh province, Medical Garment Factory 10 moved to Hanoi in 1956 and it still kept a healthcare division.

In 1956, right after it was relocated from Viet Bac War Zone to Gia Lam - Hanoi, Garment 10 used 10 ha out of 15 ha of land to build facilities for employees, including kindergartens, residences, canteens, markets, primary and secondary schools, and vocational schools.

After going public in 2005, its people-centered goal is still inherited and developed. That difference has led to a completely natural culture. Garment 10 Kindergarten has welcomed the third generation and prepared to receive the fourth generation of employees.

The Department of Health - Labor Environment, also known as Garment 10 Clinic, is staffed by 12 doctors and equipped with modern equipment to provide healthcare for employees and surrounding residents. Especially when the whole country is working hard to prevent and control the COVID-19 pandemic, the clinic has actively advised leaders and launched timely and effective plans to keep the pandemic at bay.

In fact, worker health is important to work progress and productivity. Besides, companies need an internally operated medical system to ensure good environmental and working conditions and prevent the COVID-19 pandemic.

Every year, Garment 10 employees are provided with two periodic health checks. Through periodic health examination, abnormalities of occupational diseases can be detected early for timely treatment. Worker health is thus ensured. Human value is enhanced.

Garment 10 Corporation is working out an actionable plan for COVID-19 infection treatment at the factory. Would you introduce this initiative?

Garment 10 Corporation always upholds the spirit: Each employee is a warrior and the company is a "fortress". If doing this well, the corporation will not only ensure continuous production but also help the Government to contain the pandemic.

In the past, we didn't have home-cured infections but now we do. Why don’t we have an infection cure at the factory?

Garment 10 Corporation has a general clinic with 12 doctors and nurses, equivalent to a district hospital, fully equipped for medical examination and treatment. Therefore, we would like to put forth a scheme for COVID-19 infection treatment in situ. We will treat infections and transfer only serious cases to higher hospitals for treatment.

Thank you very much!

Recommendations by Garment 10 Corporation:

- The Government and localities speed up vaccinations for workers, especially factory workers.

- Use a common instruction for pandemic prevention and control.

- Lock down affected areas to a minimum rather than a broad lockdown.

 

Source:  Vietnam Business Forum