Vietnam has reported 262 COVID-19 cases, and no deaths so far, but as a result of a 15-day social distancing program that began on March 31 many small businesses have been shuttered and thousands of people temporarily laid off from work. Due to current situation, a Vietnamese entrepreneur in Ho Chi Minh City has invented a 24/7 the automatic dispensing machine providing free rice for people out of work following an ongoing nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The machine distributes a 1.5kg bagful of rice from a small silo to waiting workers, many of whom are street sellers or people who earned a living from cash-in-hand jobs like housekeeping or selling lottery tickets. Similar ‘rice ATMs’ have been set up in other big cities like Hanoi, Hue and Danang. While many in the Communist-ruled country can rely on a social safety-net, and the government has introduced a stimulus package designed to help society’s most vulnerable.