Nguyễn Thiện Nhân (standing), secretary of the HCM City Party Committee, speaks at a meeting on Wednesday to review the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. — Photo courtesy of the Media Centre
HCM CITY — HCM City will continue to strengthen the fight against COVID-19 while also prioritising socio-economic development in the second quarter of the year, the secretary of the city Party Committee told a meeting on Wednesday.
Nguyễn Thiện Nhân said considering the recent positive developments in the fight against the deadly virus, the city could possibly contain the pandemic in the second quarter.
“Can we do it? Yes, we can.
“Unless the deadly virus is contained, other socio-economic tasks cannot be carried out as planned.
“The city has taken drastic measures to contain the outbreak.”
All passengers arriving in the city by plane and train are required to have a test.
No new cases have been reported in the city during the past eight days, Nhân said, attributing this to the measures the city has taken.
“When someone is infected, the city not only isolates the infected person but also tracks down their second- and third-hand contacts, which has resulted in a lower incidence of cases, with the rate of spread currently under control.”
Other measures such as wearing a mask in public and washing hands thoroughly are also important, he noted.
Nhân urged businesses and agencies to build a safe code of conduct for their employees.
Lê Thanh Liêm, vice chairman of the city People’s Committee, said 1,523 enterprises shut down for good in the first quarter due to the pandemic, 54.5 per cent higher than in the same period last year.
Some 5,088 others suspended operations while 35 enterprises in export processing zones and industrial parks are affected by the outbreak, he said.
Almost 1,000 people have lost their jobs and 6,424 workers are temporarily off work, he said.
Around 70,000 workers in the city are expected to be affected in the coming months, especially at small- and medium-sized enterprises, he said.
The city would take further measures to support businesses in difficulty, he said.
It would help businesses access support packages from the city and central governments and support workers facing difficulties, he said.
It would consider extending the deadlines for paying personal and corporate income taxes, among other measures, he said.
The pandemic has severely hit the service sector, with revenues for the food and education sectors dropping particularly sharply, he said.
The city economy expanded by a mere 0.42 per cent in the first quarter, he said.
With more than 1,000 crimes reported in the first quarter, up 10 per cent year-on-year, he said law enforcement agencies should tighten securitya measures. — VNS