|A restaurant in Phú Nhuận District delivers food on September 9. HCM City is planning to ease its stringent COVID-19 preventive measures from September 15 to facilitate the economy’s recovery. — VNA/VNS Photo|
HCM CITY — Deputy Prime Minister Vũ Đức Đam has identified the vaccination rate, supply of medicines and public compliance with regulations as the three key factors that will affect HCM City’s gradual reopening to facilitate economic recovery and safety from COVID-19.
The city plans to ease its tough COVID-19 prevention measures from September 15 if it is able to the bring outbreak under control.
Đam said to reopen safely more than 80 per cent of the city’s population aged 18 and above should get their first shot, and medicines and oxygen must be adequately available.
People must also get used to and follow COVID-19 preventive measures and social distancing requirements, he said.
“The sooner the city can reopen, the more people’s incomes will improve and their struggles will be alleviated.”
Việt Nam’s COVID epicentre with over 286,000 cases has gone through more than three months of increasingly stricter social distancing orders and preventive measures, with locals being asked to “stay where they are” since August 23.
Nguyễn Văn Nên, secretary of the city Party's Committee, said the city is heavily dependent on the services sector and so could not persist with its stringent social distancing mandate forever.
It would gradually reopen with “a new normal” to “live with the virus”, but it has to make sure there are enough vaccines and medicines, and people are knowledgeable about the pandemic, he said.
“If the city is not careful about reopening and unable to keep things under control, something will go wrong. We cannot be complacent or too eager. It has to be safe and gradual.”
On September 9, after two months of closures, the city allowed restaurants to reopen for delivery services until 6pm.
It has speeded up its inoculation rate, arranging mobile vaccination teams to reach more locals and vaccination sessions even after dusk.
As of September 9, it has given over 6.3 million adults their first shots, or 88 per cent of the city’s population aged 18 or more.
More than 971,000 adults have got both shots.
The city targets having all adults getting one jab by September 15 and their second by the end of the year.
It is working on a vaccine ‘green card’ system to enable people to take part in more social activities, including visiting certain business establishments.
It will be based on the number of shots people get and if they had COVID-19 and recovered from it in the previous six months.
It has been carrying out a home-based treatment model, distributing medicines, health supplements and food to patients treating themselves at home or district-level quarantine facilities.
Mobile health stations have been set up to monitor patients at home and quickly hospitalise those with worsening conditions.
Authorities are seeking to ensure abundant availability of medicines and oxygen.
The mortality rate is falling, with the number of deaths on September 10 only 195 against an average of 280 in the week from August 23 to 29. — VNS