Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc (standing) chairs an online Government meeting on Wednesday which focuses on ensuring social welfare for the poor and the unemployed amid COVID-19. — VNA/VNS Photo Thống Nhất
HÀ NỘI — The Vietnamese Government has made efforts to ensure social welfare for the public is maintained, especially for the poor and the unemployed, amid challenges posed by COVID-19, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc said.
At an online monthly Government meeting on Wednesday, the Cabinet leader said the Government would continue to discuss and issue solutions to solve business difficulties, boost public investment, ensure public security and order, and especially social welfare.
He asked Government members at the meeting to discuss and immediately launch a package supporting employers in order to ensure social welfare for the public in this difficult time.
Highlighting that the Government has been active in controlling COVID-19, Phúc said the peak of the pandemic in Việt Nam would be in 15 days. Việt Nam will be able minimise consequences caused by COVID-19 if the social distancing measures are taken seriously during this time.
Elaborating on social distancing measures issued on Tuesday, Phúc said social distancing is a legal situation to protect public health and life. The measures include keeping distance in the community and among people.
“[Social distancing] does not mean suspending traffic and locking down the community,” he said.
He said the country must still ensure circulation of goods, safe production, and especially the manufacture of essential goods, medical equipment and exports.
Exports via sea and road, as well as activities at home, remain as normal.
“Social distancing for 15 days aims to prevent the virus transmission to the community,” he said.
According to the report delivered at the meeting, Việt Nam’s growth reached 3.82 per cent in the first quarter, the lowest since the first quarter of 2009.
Growth levels in industry, agriculture and services also remained low.
The only positive sign came from trade, with an increase of 8.7 per cent in export turnover.
As the global economy has been severely hurt by the pandemic and Việt Nam has integrated deeply, the country’s supply and consumption of goods have also interrupted. Other domestic factors have also affected growth, such as prolonged droughts in the south, African swine fever and declining oil prices, PM Phúc said.
Việt Nam has launched packages to support public finance and monetary policy. Banking, finance, trade and agriculture sectors have offered assistance to businesses and people.
According to the April 2020 Economic Update for East Asia and Pacific released by the World Bank, in spite of the ongoing turbulence, Việt Nam’s economy remains resilient to external shocks and obtained the highest growth among ASEAN countries, Phúc said.
He called for solidarity of all sectors and localities at all levels to follow directions of the Party and the Government to overcome challenges posed by the global pandemic.
It is also time to switch to working online and take advantage of science and technology, he said. — VNS