The downward trend in new COVID-19 infections and a high ratio of vaccination have been among good signals creating the momentum for Ho Chi Minh City to reopen its economy after September 30 as planned.
According to the city Department of Health, as of September 26 morning, 9.4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines had been injected, with 6.8 million people, or 94.5 percent of local residents over 18 years old receiving the first shots and 2.6 million others getting full two shots.
Meanwhile, the ratio of new infections in red and orange zones detected through mass testing has declined from 3.7 percent to 1.1 percent after six testing drives. In the seventh testing drive from September 20, the ratio was 0.3 percent.
Defining health care strategy as one of key factor for the re-opening plan, Nguyen Van Vinh Chau, Vice Director of the city Health Department said after vaccination reaches full coverage, the city will focus on managing COVID-19 patients in the community, while strengthening the treatment system, and conducting testing on high-risk groups.
Currently, HCM City has 90 COVID-19 treatment facilities, with 3,280 beds for critical patients, he said.
At the same time, the city is building 11 strategies for the ‘new normal’ period, including those on health care, social welfare, and business production.
Secretary of the city Party Committee Nguyen Van Nen affirmed that it’s time for the city to make necessary preparations for living safely with the virus.
“Green card” has been piloted in a number of localities hosting a large number of businesses, including District 7, Cu Chi and Can Gio district, as well as export processing zones and the High-Tech Park since September 16.
Lam Dinh Thang, Director of the municipal Department of Information and Communications said that the COVID-19 “green card” is a tool to manage people meeting all safety criteria against COVID-19, which is part of the city’s plan on partly opening and a suitable step towards the new normal situation after September 30.
Currently, the city Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control has issued 15 sets of safety criteria for seven sectors in preparation for reopening. People who want to engage in production, business, travel, shopping and social activities must hold the COVID-19 “green card”.
The city Department of Transport has also designed a plan to receive labourers from other localities, while a number of major wholesale markets in District 7 and Cu Chi and Can Gio district have opened again, work at many construction sites have resumed and tens of thousands of shippers have returned to work, showing that life in the city is generally returning to “the new normal”./.
With specific conditions, Ho Chi Minh City has asked for the Prime Minister’s permission to apply special regulations to reopen the economy.