Ho Chi Minh Proposes Sept. 15 Economic Restart

Vietnam’s largest city Ho Chi Minh drafted a proposal suggesting a “living with COVID-19” strategy and return to pre-pandemic activities from Sep. 15.

According to the draft seen by Reuters, the city is aiming to focus on gradually reopening the economy, emerging from lockdowns while still maintaining health protocols.

Vietnam would accelerate vaccine rollout to fully inoculate all its citizens by the end of the year, but only 2.9 percent of 98 million citizens have been fully vaccinated so far.

The draft suggested that maintaining low-interest loans and offering tax cuts will aid the city throughout the transition.

Ho Chi Minh city is currently Vietnam’s COVID-19 epicenter, recording half of the country’s cases at 232,600 and 80 percent of its deaths at 9,724.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chin warned on Sep. 1 that the country is facing a long-term battle against COVID-19 and can no longer rely on more quarantine measures.

“We can’t rely on quarantine and blockade forever because it poses difficulties for people and the economy,” Chin lamented.

Vietnam was one of the world’s best COVID-19 containment stories in 2020, having relied on aggressive contact tracing and quarantine measures, until the highly contagious Delta variant hit the country.

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