Open up slowly, live with virus: HCMC Party leader

By Huu Cong   September 5, 2021 | 06:31 pm GMT+7
Open up slowly, live with virus: HCMC Party leader
HCMC is seen from above amid strict social distancing measures, August 23 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
HCMC can’t keep imposing strict lockdowns indefinitely. It would have to gradually reopen its economy and learn to live with the novel coronavirus, says the city’s Party Secretary.

"This pandemic is unprecedented and we’ve had no previous lessons. We can't impose strict social distancing measures forever because we can't beat it; we have to gradually open up economic activities and live with the virus," HCMC Party Secretary Nguyen Van Nen said at a press meet Sunday.

He said the city would go back to targeting the dual goals of controlling the pandemic while ensuring economic growth.

"We must protect the health of our economy to avoid economic collapse," he stressed.

He said city authorities are working on an economic recovery plan based on science and practical lessons drawn from the experiences of countries around the world. It has assigned a team of scientists, doctors, sociologists and psychologists to study all related issues to move towards the strategy of "living with the virus."

Nen said the city will reopen its activities slowly but surely, keeping in mind that another outbreak can inflict more damage.

HCMC, home to a series of industrial parks and foreign-invested firms, has been the country's largest money-maker for decades and has always been assigned the highest state budget collection target.

The city has so far recorded 245,000 local cases. It has undergone a series of social distancing orders, with the latest extended until Sept. 15. Since August 23, the city has further tightened its travel curbs and only certain groups are allowed to go out.

The government has said it wants the city, the nation’s biggest and economic hub, to bring the coronavirus situation under control by Sept. 15.

The idea of living with the virus was previously mentioned by Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh who warned Wednesday that Vietnam could be facing a lengthy coronavirus battle and cannot rely indefinitely on lockdowns and quarantines.

 
 
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