Vietnam’s commercial hub Ho Chi Minh City will begin easing its coronavirus restrictions later on Thursday, officials said after four months of measures aimed at allowing more business and social activities in a spiral. To arrest the death rate.
The policies will seek to prop up the economy and restore some normalcy that has coexisted with the virus, which has hit the country hard in recent months, with the total rising from 36 in mid-May to more than 19,098 as of Wednesday.
“All checkpoints on the streets will be removed and no travel permits will be required from today onwards,” Le Hoa Binh, vice chairman of the city’s public committee, told a news conference.
“We are opening up slowly but put the safety of our residents first.”
Nearly 9 million people in the city have borne the brunt of Vietnam’s coronavirus crisis, which accounts for 80% of the country’s fatalities and half of its nearly 780,000 cases.
The capital Hanoi, however, has been affected only marginally by comparison.
From October 1, Ho Chi Minh City’s industrial parks, construction projects, malls, barbershops, hospitality facilities and restaurants for takeaway can resume operations, Binh said.
Movement restrictions have forced the closure of many factories in its industrial area, prompting warnings from some foreign commerce groups that prolonged restrictions could see them shift business to other countries.
“When the city reopens we see a huge shortage of manufacturing factories and a labor force in construction,” Binh said.
“There are many opportunities for the unemployed to find a new job and create a resume.”
Officials are trying to speed up vaccinations, prioritizing workers and those over 50. About a third of the city’s residents have been fully vaccinated.
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