Along with Covid-19, Vietnam’s largest city proposes a re-start of the economy!
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s coronavirus epicenter, plans to loosen the strict lockdown and resume financial activities on September 15, shifting away from its “Zero-COVID-19” approach to living with the virus after two years of fighting against the odds and hoping to be free of the virus.
According to a draught seen by Reuters and still being approved, the city of 9 million people plans to restart its economy in stages and fully vaccinate its citizens by the end of this year.
Last month, Ho Chi Minh City deployed troops to impose a lockdown and prevent citizens from leaving their homes in order to slow the rising number of deaths. Only 2.9 % of the 98 million Vietnam’s people have received all of their vaccinations.
The draft proposes that the city, which is surrounded by major industrialized provinces, abandon its containment strategy in favor of reviving the economy while adhering to strict health regulations. The city wants to “promote economic recovery… and move toward living with COVID-19,” according to the proposal.
According to reports, the revival will be gradual, and affected businesses will be offered low-interest loans and tax breaks. In Ho Chi Minh City alone, there have been 232,600 coronavirus infections and 9,724 deaths, accounting for half of the country’s cases and 80% of the deaths. The vast majority of them have happened in recent months, as the company is nearing the end of one of the best COVID-19 containment records in the world, which it had hoped to keep through quarantining and aggressive contact tracing. Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh warned on Wednesday that Vietnam could be in for a long coronavirus battle and that lockdown and quarantines could rely on for indefinite periods.
Nguyen Truong Son, the city’s deputy health minister, has appealed to recovered COVID-19 patients to assist in the fight against the pandemic. “You can register to join the fight when you feel physically good enough, confident enough, and want to contribute your efforts,” he wrote in an open letter on Friday.