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Deputy PM asks HCMC to prepare to live with Covid

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HCMC – HCMC, Binh Duong and other Covid-hit provinces and cities should prepare to live with Covid-19 rather than continue to pursue the zero-Covid strategy, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam told an anti-virus working session with HCMC on September 16.

To live with the pandemic, these provinces and cities should speed up the vaccination process, prepare enough Covid treatment drugs, mobilize human resources, raise the capacity of treatment, enforce Covid safety protocols and conduct regular tests, according to Deputy PM Dam.

The deputy prime minister asked HCMC to review and re-assess the risk of Covid-19 infections in each residential quarter in detail to adopt more suitable anti-virus measures.

Besides, the city was urged to quickly keep the pandemic in check and resume some services and business activities in a gradual and safe manner, the local media reported.

The city should not reopen services and activities that do not ensure anti-virus safety, he said.

HCMC Party Secretary Nguyen Van Nen said that during its social distancing period from September 16 to 30, HCMC will adopt drastic and aggressive anti-virus measures in each area and pilot the reopening of some services and activities and assess the results.

The deputy prime minister also suggested the city should mobilize private health units to provide anti-virus support services so that enterprises can operate safely and handle positive Covid cases proactively.

HCMC should also collaborate with other provinces and cities to ensure human resources for production and business activities.

HCMC Chairman Phan Van Mai said that three weeks after intense social distancing, the city’s districts and Thu Duc City have gradually widened safe areas and narrowed extremely high-risk areas.

Some 92% of the city’s residents aged above 18 have received the first shot of the Covid vaccine, while 24% have received two shots.

The city is focusing on treating Covid patients, reducing Covid death rates and ensuring social welfare, while supporting the recovery of enterprises and maintaining a balance between revenue and spending on the Covid fight.

The city will speed up the Covid testing to protect Covid-free areas and resume services and activities in these safe areas, Mai said, adding that HCMC expects to procure more Covid vaccine doses to give the second shot to residents.

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