HANOI: Vietnam’s commercial hub Ho Chi Minh City will start relaxing its COVID-19 curbs from later on Thursday (Sep 30), officials said, allowing more business and social activities after four months of measures aimed at arresting a spiralling death rate.
Policies will seek to spur the economy and restore some normalcy while coexisting with the virus, which hit the country hard in recent months, with overall deaths jumping from 36 in mid-May to more than 19,098 as of Wednesday.
“All checkpoints on the streets will be lifted and no travel permits will be needed after today,” Le Hoa Binh, deputy chairman of the city’s people’s committee, told a news conference.
“We are gradually opening, but put our residents’ safety first.”
The city of about 9 million people has borne the brunt of Vietnam’s coronavirus crisis, accounting for 80 per cent of the country’s fatalities and half of its nearly 780,000 cases.
The capital Hanoi, however, has by comparison been only mildly impacted.