Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh City announces end of Covid-19 strict measures; govt reports only 3,168 new cases on Monday (Oct 18)


Workers at Linh Trung Industrial Zone in Ho Chí Minh City on October 1, the first day the city eased some of the Covid-19 restrictions. - Vietnam News/ANN

HANOI, Oct. 18 (Vietnam News/ANN): Ho Chi Minh (HCM) City authorities have announced that the country’s pandemic hotspot has contained its largest-ever Covid-19 outbreak and is ready to reopen the economy, Nguyen Thi Le, chairwoman of the municipal People’s Council, said at a meeting on Monday.

Speaking at the opening session of the third People’s Council meeting, Le said: “Today I officially announce all 21 districts and Thu Duc city have been able to control the outbreak, and are ready to enter the ‘new normal’ phase of the reopening.”

Le attributed the pandemic prevention achievements to the combined efforts of both the people and city government.

The achievements, however, have come at a high cost as the city has not met its economic targets, she said, referring to the socio-economic situation in the first nine months.

“Prolonged lockdown measures have seriously affected the city’s business and production as well as people’s lives,” she noted.

The Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) is expected to drop by 4.98 per cent in the first nine months and by 5.06 per cent for the whole year compared to the year’s target of 6 per cent.

Total disbursed public investment has reached only 32 per cent of the year’s plan, according to Le.

“It will be difficult for the city to meet this year’s economic targets,” she said, adding that budget revenue would not decrease sharply.

The target for the city’s 2021 budget revenue is VNĐ365 trillion (US$16.09 billion) as assigned by the central Government, which means the largest city in the country has to collect VNĐ1 trillion (US$44 million) a day.

Vietnam reported 3,168 new Covid-19 cases on Monday (Oct 18), including 3,159 locally transmitted and nine imported, according to the country's Ministry of Health.

Most of the community cases were detected in southern localities, including 968 in Ho Chi Minh City, 439 in Binh Duong province, and 393 in Dong Nai province.

The new infections brought the country's total tally to 867,221, with 21,269 deaths, the ministry said.

Nationwide, 792,980 Covid-19 patients have so far recovered, while over 63.4 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been administered, according to the ministry.

As of Monday, Vietnam has registered a total of 862,531 locally transmitted Covid-19 cases since the start of the current wave in late April, the ministry said. - Vietnam News/ANN

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