HCMC extends strict Covid-19 restrictions until mid-September

By Huu Cong, Le Tuyet   September 6, 2021 | 09:17 am PT
HCMC extends strict Covid-19 restrictions until mid-September
The downtown area of Ho Chi Minh City on July 9, 2021, when the city began 15 days of stringent social distancing measures to curb Covid-19. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa
HCMC has decided to extend its tight social distancing rules until September 15, with residents of low risk areas allowed to visit the market once a week.

HCMC People’s Committee Chairman Phan Van Mai said in a live-streamed talk show Monday that from now until Sept.15, the city will let the "green zones", the low risk areas, pilot the reopening of some takeout services.

It was the first time that the municipal chairman was participating in the "People ask, city answers" program, directly interacting with people via social networks.

After Sept.15, if the situation improves, the city will open several activities in a safe area. These will include e-commerce, logistics, medical equipment manufacturing, food and food production, gas stations, construction sites, building materials supply and others. Industries that can be managed and operated safely will be prioritized in the process of opening up gradually.

It was impossible to give a specific answer on when the semi-lockdown will end, because it depends on the pandemic situation, Mai said.

However, he said the city will, step by step, open areas based on safety and ensuring people’s health and socio-economic development.

The central government has said it wants HCMC to get the coronavirus situation under control by Sept. 15, and the city is focusing on this goal by imposing social distancing measures, speeding up testing, detection and vaccination, trying to reduce the fatality rate, and ensuring social security.

"The city is urgently trying to contain the pandemic. If we succeed, we will have a plan to ease restrictions," Mai said.

As of Monday night, 6.3 million people in the southern metro had been vaccinated with their first shots, and 500,000 have been fully vaccinated.

Answering a question about whether migrants in the city can return to their hometowns after Sept. 15 if they are fully vaccinated, Mai said the pandemic was still raging, and people are prohibited from traveling freely among localities battling the virus.

HCMC has recorded 258,536 cases in the current outbreak, and undergone 99 days of lockdown at various levels. It has 42,665 Covid-19 patients being treated at local hospitals.

It has recorded 10,685 Covid-19 deaths since January 1.

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