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HCMC approved to stop social distancing

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HCMC – Having kept the coronavirus pandemic under control, HCMC has received the prime minister’s approval to stop the social distancing campaign at midnight on April 23, allowing businesses in some sectors to resume operations.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has permitted the city and some other localities to end the 22-day shelter-in-place period set on April 1, said Le Thanh Liem, vice chairman of the municipal government, at a meeting of the city’s steering committee on Covid-19 infection prevention and control on April 22.

Shops, street businesses, and non-essential service providers in the city can restart their activities but have to ensure full compliance with regulations on preventing the coronavirus transmission.

Besides, people still have to wear face masks when in the public, Liem added.

Earlier, the authority of HCMC had proposed lifting the social distance order, starting at midnight on April 23, as the city has not reported any new Covid-19 infections for 19 consecutive days during the 22-day stay-at-home campaign.

Currently, only two Covid-19 cases are under treatment in HCMC, Nguyen Thanh Phong, chairman of the municipal government, told a web meeting with authorities of 63 provinces and cities on April 22.

Meanwhile, the southern city is facing many major challenges to its economic growth, Phong stated.

The city’s growth rate in the first quarter of the year has not fully reflected its overall economic picture. The heaviest impact of this public health crisis on the southern hub will be felt more clearly in the second quarter, he said.

From April onward, export orders are delayed, so demand for products from major markets is seeing a downward trend. Local people and businesses will face mounting difficulties given this situation, the chairman explained.

Accordingly, the city made the proposal to end social distancing. Also, the city has worked out plans to restart economic activities while continuing to apply stringent measures to prevent and control Covid-19 infections.

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