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Sep 05, 2021 / 22:21

Today’s Covid News: Ho Chi Minh City plans to reopen economy

Vietnam welcomed the first passengers for one-week quarantine. They are 300 Vietnamese returnees from Japan who have been fully vaccinated.

Ho Chi Minh City’s Party Chief Nguyen Van Nen said today that it needs to relax restrictions gradually to bring back people to a new normal instead of lockdown currently.

 Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City's Party Committee Nguyen Van Nen at the meeting on September 5. Photo: Viet Dung/ SGGP

“We can't keep the restrictions for long because we can’t stand it. We have to gradually reopen the economy,” Nguyen Van Nen told local media on September 5.

To prepare for the new normal, the city needs to transform capabilities for pandemic preparedness with a wide range of things, such as vaccine, drug, knowledge, and spirit, he said.

For that reason, it requires residents’ attitude towards the new normal and a well-equipped healthcare system, Nen said, adding that the aforementioned issues are indispensable for the recovery plans.

To ensure good healthcare for residents, Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) will consult scientists, health professionals, sociologists, psychologists, among others to prepare them well-prepared new normal, the city’s party secretary emphasized.

Nen said the city would likely pilot the reopening models in District 7 and Cu Chi District. Meanwhile, authorities in District 7 said it will resume essential services from September 20 with some binding conditions.

District 7 and Cu Chi District are two out of 22 districts that have basically controlled the pandemic.


The capital city continues tightening control over safety measures in the “red zone” (high-risk zone) by installing solid barriers surrounding the area which covers 10 downtown districts namely Tay Ho, Ba Dinh, Hoan Kiem, Hai Ba Trung, Cau Giay, Dong Da, Hoang Mai, Thanh Xuan, Ha Dong, and parts of five other districts: Nam Tu Liem, Bac Tu Liem, Hoai Duc, Thanh Oai, and Thuong Tin.

Police at the checkpoints set up everywhere will manage people who go out unnecessarily. Under the new regulations, only six groups of people are eligible to go out: state employees on duty and those who work for foreign missions and international organizations; individuals in essential sectors; those participating in the pandemic fight; those in the media industry; those in emergencies, for necessities and for flights; and individuals conducting essential work.

New rules on travel permits are troubling people, even those belonging to the priority list.

 Covid-19 checkpoints in Hanoi. The photo was taken on September 5 by Khanh Huy/ The Hanoi Times

Vaccination campaign

The Ministry of Health has asked HCMC, Hanoi, Binh Duong, Long An, and Dong Nai to complete vaccinating the first jab to adults aged above 18 before September 15 and ensure the second jab within the interval.

To date, HCMC tops localities for the rate of the first jab out of matured inhabitants with 88%, Long An ranks second with 72.7%, Binh Duong 57.8%, Hanoi 52.6%, and Dong Nai 36.5%.

Those areas have received vaccines allocated by the ministry. Lockdown is one of the reasons slowing the inoculation drive.

Binh Duong, the manufacturing heartland and one of the two most affected areas together with HCMC, currently sees the highest number of infections per 100,000 inhabitants with 5,393. It now imposes the shelter-in-place order in some urban parts of the province. The local government considers relaxing restrictions on fully vaccinated people.

In another move, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on September 5 chaired an online meeting on Covid-19 control with all 63 cities and provinces, including heads of 9,000 grassroots levels.

At the meeting, Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long said 8 out of 63 localities almost contain the pandemic, 11 others bring the pandemic under control, and the group of areas grappling with the pandemic are HCMC, Binh Duong, Long An, and Tien Giang.

On September 5, Vietnam sees 13,137 Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hours, including 47% in Ho Chi Minh City and 27% in Binh Duong. HCMC has 2,782 infections per 100,000 inhabitants while Binh Duong’s is 5,393. The number of death/inhabitants is respective 114 and 45.

The country’s total caseload hit 524,307, including 55% have recovered. The death toll stays at 13,074, mainly in HCMC.

One-week quarantine officially applied

On September 4, Vietnam welcomed the first passengers for one-week quarantine.

They are 300 Vietnamese returnees from Japan and fully vaccinated.

Vietnam imposes one-week quarantine to fully vaccinated visitors instead of three weeks before. Subsequent medical surveillance for one week will also be required for those who enter Vietnam via all international terminals like border gates, airports, and seaports.

People who are subject to the new regulations need to show vaccination certificates issued within one year prior to the entry. Types of vaccines are those approved by the World Health Organization (WHO), the US Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC), the European Medicines Agency (EMA), and Vietnam.

In addition, those who recovered from Covid-19 with negative testing results certified by the countries where they were treated will be eligible for the one-week quarantine.

Two quarantine options are available including barrack squares and hotels.

 Vietnam's Covid-19 infections. Source: MoH. Chart: Minh Vu