HCMC Chairman Proposes New Covid-19 Orientations in Dialogue with Residents

Chairman HCM City Phan Van Mai on September 6 talked to residents about the orientations and plans of the city on the Covid-19 prevention and control after September 15 via a broadcast called “People Ask, City Answers.”
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HCMC Chairman Proposes New Covid-19 Orientations in Dialogue with Residents
Chairman of HCMC People’s Committee Phan Van Mai. Photo: SGGP

On the evening of September 6, in the livestream program "People Ask, City Answers" organized by the Ho Chi Minh City Press Center, many people in the city expressed difficulties in jobs and food, medical products and services due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. People proposed that the city soon have a policy to support struggling individuals, especially from now until September 15, when the city will continue to social distance to control the pandemic at the request of the Government.

The livestream focused on the main contents of measures for controlling and reducing coronavirus infections and Covid-19 death toll as the city performs less-stringent social distancing measures, answering when the city will lift the social distancing and the itinerary of lifting, the vaccination process in the upcoming time, the next social welfare policies to support people facing difficult circumstances and major solutions to recover the city's economic operation, support enterprises to resume production and trading, according to SGGP.

People are also wondering about the policies that the city will implement after September 15, when it is forecast that the city will control the pandemic, especially the economic recovery, ensuring business, and production activities.

In addition, some small and medium enterprises also proposed that the city have policies to support taxes, and premises when the pandemic subsides and the city relaxes social distancing.

Responding to the comments and recommendations of people and businesses, Phan Van Mai, chairman of the People's Committee of Ho Chi Minh City, said that in the immediate future, along with functional sectors, experts, the city is develop a more methodical and effective plan to adapt to the pandemic and recover the economy when the pandemic is under control. In the long term, the city will have a development strategy, and mobilize all resources for the city's development.

Roadmap for easing social distancing and vaccination

Information on the policy of easing social distancing in the near future, Phan Van Mai said that the degree of easing and the specific time will depend on the evolution of the pandemic.

The city is focusing, urgently and drastically implementing solutions on social distancing, testing, F0 dissection, F0 care and treatment, vaccination, mortality reduction, and safety assurance.

If before September 15, the goal of pandemic control is achieved, after September 15, HCM city will have a roadmap to ease social distancing.

Currently, the city is implementing, re-evaluating, preparing and perfecting plans on the principle of ensuring the safety, health and life of the people, living in pandemic conditions, easing social distancing follow the situation.

A group of epidemiologists is finalizing a set of criteria for the city to apply in easing the distance, such as the proposed number of infections, deaths, the health system's endurance, severe cases, infection and vaccination.

HCMC Chairman Proposes New Covid-19 Orientations in Dialogue with Residents
Chairman of the City People's Committee Phan Van Mai spoke directly with the resident through the livestream program “People ask, city answers.” Photo: Ho Chi Minh City Press Center

Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee said: "Recently, Ho Chi Minh City's Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control has basically agreed to maintain social distancing from now until September 15 as it did from August 23 to September 6. However, there is an adjustment that the supermarket system, the supply chain is open to wards, communes and towns. In the red zone, the shipper will go to the market, while in the green area, people can go to the market once a week."

"From now until September 15, the city has not reopened the market but will establish two transshipment points for goods at the wholesale market of Binh Dien (District 8) and Hoc Mon (Hoc Mon District). Along with that, in the green area will pilot open some take-out food services. If after September 15, the situation changes well, the city will open a lot of activities. Any area that is safe, any industry that participates in ensuring safety (vaccination, compliance with the 5K principle, etc.) will be allowed to operate," head of the Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee said.

Regarding the issue of vaccination, Phan Van Mai said that so far the city has injected the first dose for more than 82% of people over 18 years old with 6.3 million doses of the vaccine, striving for 90% of the population by September 15.

For the second dose, the city has injected more than 500,000 injections, and is expected to continue to give injections to those who come for the second injection before September 15.

Strengthen social security program and support to welcome workers back to the city

Regarding social security, according to Phan Van Mai, the second support package with the level of 1.5 million dong (US$66)/household is not enough, the city is developing the next package, which will apply after September 15 depending on the situation. The package can pay monthly cash per person, support 15 kilograms of rice per month per household, and other forms of support such as support for electricity and water bills.

HCMC Chairman Proposes New Covid-19 Orientations in Dialogue with Residents
Soldiers go to the market to support people in Ward 1, Tan Binh District. Photo: VNA

"It is expected that by September 6, the city will distribute the second support package (VND1.5 million (US$66)/household) but because many places have not yet received it, the city will continue to distribute it in the next 2-3 days. Currently, the city has spent nearly VND6,000 billion (US$264 million) to support people from the budget and socialization money, not to mention more than 1.6 million support bags and rice. Besides, from now until September 10, the city will distribute 10,000 tons of rice. The city's stance is not to leave anyone unsupported, leading to starvation. The city has more than 10 million people, so the authorities at all levels cannot cover it all, people need to contact by phone to connect with the authorities of wards, communes, residential groups, if there is an increase in the number, the city will provide more," said Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee Chairman Phan Van Mai.

As for supporting small and medium enterprises affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee Phan Van Mai said that businesses are facing difficulties in capital, labor, and raw materials. Therefore, the city has proposed to the State Bank of Vietnam a policy package, debt freeze, debt rescheduling, loan interest reduction as well as requesting to hold regular dialogues between banks and businesses and borrowers to make suitable decisions.

The city will also coordinate with localities to support transporting workers back to the city when the pandemic is under control, ensuring safety and building a package to support the cost of premises, electricity and water services for businesses.

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