|Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính chairs the meeting on Sunday. —VNA/VNS Photo
HÀ NỘI — The COVID-19 pandemic has been basically brought under control nationwide five months since the outbreak of the fourth wave ravaged the country, said Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính at an online meeting on Sunday.
The meeting was held between the Government leader and authorities of 63 localities to review COVID-19 prevention and control measures and discuss socio-economic recovery in the future.
PM Chính said the Government on October 11 issued Resolution No 128 on the adoption of provisional guidelines on safe and flexible living with COVID-19. Following the resolution, many provinces and cities have relaxed social distancing and gradually moved to live safely and flexibly with COVID-19.
He stressed that COVID-19 prevention and control must be implemented consistently across the country.
Based on the outcomes of the meeting, the Government and the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control will make adjustments and improvements to implement safe and flexible adaptation, effectively control the pandemic, and recover and promote socio-economic development more efficiently, he said.
According to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control, the fourth wave with the rapid and strong transmission of the Delta variant has developed in many localities. The number of new infections increased remarkably in a short period, far exceeding predictions.
The pandemic has had severe impacts on the life, health and living conditions of people and deeply affected all socio-economic aspects of the country.
The country’s GDP increased by just 1.42 per cent in the first nine months of 2021, after recording a decline of 6.17 per cent in the third quarter compared to that of the same period last year.
Income and employment were seriously affected, especially for workers in industrial zones and people who depend on services. The unemployment rate in the third quarter of 2021 was 3.72 per cent, and the underemployment rate of working age people was 4.39 per cent, the highest since the first quarter of 2020.
The fourth wave of the pandemic has also caused overloading for the medical system and an increase in the number of fatalities relating to COVID-19, particularly in HCM City and some southern localities.
However, with the great efforts, solidarity and determination of the entire Party, people and army, the pandemic has been gradually been brought under control, especially in hotspots such as HCM City and Bình Dương, Đồng Nai and Long An provinces.
As a result, the socio-economic situation in the first nine months of the year still recorded some achievements, including keeping the macro-economy stable and inflation under control; ensuring social security, people’s living conditions and social order and safety amid many difficulties, particularly in localities undergoing social distancing; and proactively and effectively carrying out diplomatic activities.
In comparison with other countries in the region, Việt Nam is a populous country with a high population density while facing a vaccine shortage, causing difficulties for pandemic prevention and control. However, these encouraging results have helped to create motivation and trust and enhance the solidarity of people from all walks of life, creating conditions for socio-economic development and recovery in the future.
However, participants said these were only initial results and pointed to the need to stay alert against the pandemic and continue speeding up the vaccine strategy and strengthening pandemic prevention and control, particularly medical forces.
Concluding the meeting, PM Chính said the shift towards safe and flexible adaptation and effective pandemic control was the right direction, stressing that the fourth wave of the pandemic has caused serious impacts on all aspects of life which required more comprehensive, timely and effective solutions.
The Government leader requested ministries, sectors and localities to continue forecasting and understanding the pandemic situation and developments, urgently building and completing a master programme on pandemic prevention and control and the programme on socio-economic recovery and development to effectively perform two tasks of pandemic prevention and control and socio-economic recovery and development.
He also requested ministries, sectors and localities to continue to pay attention to social welfare, restore the labour supply chain, maintain political stability and social order and safety, take measures to soon reopen schools in safe places, have solutions to take care of children orphaned due to the pandemic, and step up the vaccination drive, and provide better treatment for COVID-19 patients. VNS