Korean businesses of all sizes in Vietnam are panicking as the country’s biggest city Ho Chi Minh went into brutal lockdown amid spiraling coronavirus infections.

The city government banned everyone in the city from leaving their home. This is even more draconian than the previous lockdown, where people were at least allowed to leave home for essential purchases. But daily new infections still exceed 3,000.

Troops are being mobilized to distribute food and other necessities.

Shelves are empty in a superstore in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam on Aug. 21. /Reuters-Yonhap

Samsung produces home appliances and TVs in Ho Chi Minh for export to Southeast Asia, Europe and the U.S., and production is expected to come to a complete stop. It is the company’s third largest production plant worldwide.

With Black Friday in the U.S. just about two months away, the Ho Chi Minh plant is already operating at just 30 percent of capacity.

Hundreds of smaller Korean firms are also cornered as their workers are locked into dormitories at their factories.

Kim Deok-ryong, the head of the Vietnam office of the Korea Federation of Small and Medium Business, said, “Companies will have to bear more costs as they now have to provide food as well as housing for staff, while many workers are quitting because they’re tired of long-term lockdown.”

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