Ho Chi Minh City:
Ho Chi Minh City on Friday lifted a stay-at-home order that kept its nine million residents indoors for three months and devastated business in Vietnam’s economic hub.
To curb the fast-spreading wave of Covid-19 – which hit the southern metropolis especially hard – residents have been unable to leave home even for food, and almost all travel in and out of the area has been suspended had gone.
Nearly half of Vietnam’s total of 790,000 virus cases were recorded in the city, as well as three-quarters of the country’s deaths.
But after a gradual decline in cases, troops on Friday began removing road blockades and hundreds of checkpoints separating the city’s districts.
“I’m happy,” said Tran Van Woo, who owns a store selling fruits, vegetables and meat and planned to expand his business before the pandemic.
“During the lockdown our company was hit a lot… We didn’t have enough delivery men as they had to do tests every two days and that was costly for the company.”
Streets were busy for the first time in months after most businesses reopened and vaccinated people were allowed to move freely within the city.
Although authorities have banned travel to other provinces, thousands of families traveling by motorcycle gathered at a checkpoint on their way out of the city, hoping to return to their hometowns.
Vietnam was once hailed as a model for virus containment, but the country struggled to contain the spread of a fourth wave of infections, which began in northern industrial parks in April and quickly traveled south. Of.
More than a third of Vietnam’s 100 million people were under stay-at-home orders this summer, bringing the country’s vital manufacturing industry to its knees and supply chains fracturing.
Its economy suffered the heaviest contraction on record in the third quarter, officials said on Wednesday.
Officials have said factories in industrial parks and goods transport services are among the businesses allowed to open.
Less than 10 percent of Vietnamese are fully vaccinated, but the largest number of jabs were allocated to Ho Chi Minh City, with nearly all of the city’s adults vaccinated.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)