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Dong Nai to ease mobility restrictions, reopen after Sept 20

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – The southern province of Dong Nai has rescheduled its plan to relax mobility restrictions and reopen its economy after September 20, five days later than originally planned, as the latest Covid outbreak remains complicated.

The provincial anti-Covid authority convened a meeting this morning, September 14, to collect more feedback from localities in the province over the plan.

According to Nguyen Hong Linh, Secretary of the provincial Party Committee, the province’s goal is to live safely with the pandemic. It will ease travel limits in Covid-safe zones, or green zones, and impose stringent control on and scale down red, yellow and orange zones with proper measures.

Under the plan, in green zones, essential services will be resumed, while non-essential ones can only reopen after their employees receive the first Covid vaccine dose for over 14 days.

Fully vaccinated people and those having recovered from Covid in 180 days in green zones can join essential activities.

Companies and household businesses in green zones are also allowed to operate from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. everyday. Only take-away services will be allowed and local wet markets can open as normal.

Regarding businesses adopting the stay-at-work mode, they are required to rotate groups of employees in green zones to maintain operations, provided their facilities have no Covid cases and they have to arrange shuttle buses to transport their employees.

As for the remaining businesses, their employees need to be from green zones, have taken the first dose and have a negative Covid test result.

In addition, the province specified that construction works in green zones, agro, transportation, and goods transport activities can resume under some requirements after September 20.

Meanwhile, cultural, sports and tourism services will continue to remain shut until further notice.

In red, orange and yellow zones, social distancing measures will remain in place until further notice.

The province has set out five key measures to slow the spread of the Delta variant, including tracing and testing; imposing quarantine, lockdown orders and adopting three-tiered Covid treatment; implementing social welfare and social security policies; running anti-Covid propaganda campaigns and conducting vaccine rollouts.

The province is currently focusing on speeding up vaccinations to achieve 100% first-dose coverage for some 2.2 million people aged over 18 by September 20. As of now, it has inoculated over 1.6 million people, meeting around 73% of the target.

The province is also facilitating massive Covid testing to isolate Covid infections from the community.

To date, 75 of the 170 communes in Dong Nai are recognized as Covid-safe zones, or green zones, while 40 other communes are red zones and 28 are orange zones. Further, 11 of the 40 red zones and 18 of the 28 orange zones have reported no new cases for many days.

Phan Huy Anh Vu, director of the province’s Department of Health, said the province reported more than 36,400 cases in total by this morning, with nearly 15,800 recoveries and 320 fatalities. He added that it was impossible to completely prevent the spread of the virus. Instead, vaccination is the key to reducing the fatality rate and achieving herd immunity.

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