Politburo, Vietnam’s most powerful body, on September 17 reaffirmed the need to put the people’s health and lives first and foremost when they discussed the socio-economic strategy for 2021-2022.
|Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Photo: AFP/VNA|
The requirement was made at the meeting chaired by General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong, with the participation of President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, Chairman of the National Assembly Vuong Dinh Hue, and senior officials.
Under the strategy, the Government will have to set up proper pandemic adaptation scenarios and effective recovery plans and seek better anti-pandemic measures with a focus on a sufficient supply of vaccine and Covid drugs.
The leaders agreed that facilitating laborers and recruitment programs becomes one of the key missions.
On the same day, Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai decided to spend VND2.65 trillion (US$115 million) from the national Covid-19 vaccine fund on buying 20 million Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine doses.
With the new move, Vietnam has been secured to purchase about 51 million Pfizer vaccine doses, including 20 million for children aged between 12 and 18.
Vietnam saw 11,521 Covid-19 infections and 212 deaths in the past 24 hours, including 86% and 91%, respectively, in Ho Chi Minh City and Binh Duong combined.
|Top leaders at the meeting on Sept 17. Photo: VNA|
Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi
Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) is busy with reopening plans in safe zones, typically District 7, Cu Chi, and Can Gio District.
Speaking at a meeting on September 17, the city’s Party Chief Nguyen Van Nen said it couldn’t delay reopening plans anymore.
The meeting’s participants agreed that society’s endurance has reached the limit while the economy has been hurt a lot. It is needed to be recovered soon.
Vu Thanh Tu Anh, Dean of Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management, said the price paid for economic reopening postponement would be high, affecting the city’s GDP growth this year and in the next few years.
Anh said that both businesses and poor people are exhausted due to three months and a half of strict social distancing. “It is time to reopen the economy.”
He said that for economic and business activities, the step-by-step reopening must include all possible contingencies and adaptability to new circumstances.
Economist Tran Du Lich said the city needs to consistently pursue its reopening plans without sudden adjustment to avoid shock-making for businesses, which have been suffering from the prolonged lockdown.
Regarding the anti-pandemic mission, Le Truong Giang, head of the HCMC Public Health Association, said massive testing is no longer a key measure in coping with the pandemic but vaccination and drug.
“Testing should be considered a “tool” but not a “weapon” in the fight against Covid-19 in the city. It should be used to detect infections in the community and help people in safe zone back to a new normal,” Giang said.
|T&T Group donate one million test kits to Hanoi on Sept 17. Photo: Kinh Te Do Thi|
On September 17, Hanoi reported 12 Covid-19 infections, the lowest daily cases over the past two months.
People in safe zones of Hanoi on September 17 underwent the first day after nearly two months of lockdown. They were eager to be back to normal activities while practicing precautionary measures.
On the same day, a number of businesses gave donations to the capital city.
T&T Group gifted one million Spanish MINGOTHINGS S.L-produced RT-PCR test kits worth EUR6 million.
Meanwhile, GE Vietnam donated 3,000 complete sets of Level 4 personal protective equipment (PPE) and more than 220 boxes of nutrition milk worth more than VND600 million ($26,000) to support frontline health workers in the fight against Covid-19.
The gifts, which were raised by GE’s facilities and all employees across the country, were handed over to the ICU for Covid-19 patients of Bach Mai Hospital, Viet Duc Hospital, Hue Central Hospital in HCMC, Binh Tan Center for emergency aid and treatment in HCMC, Nghe An Friendship General Hospital in Nghe An, and the Ba Ria – Vung Tau.
|GE representative hands over Covid relief to frontline health workers in HCMC. Photo: GE|
|Vietnam's coronavirus cases. Source: MoH. Chart: Minh Vu|