HANOI, Sept.25 (Reuters) – Vietnam plans to ease coronavirus-related restrictions and allow companies to restart production from next week to support an economy that has suffered from lengthy shutdowns, Premier said on Saturday. Minister Pham Minh Chinh.
The country, which until the end of April had maintained one of the best containment records in the world, is seeking to coexist with the virus instead of trying to maintain a COVID-zero policy.
The current outbreak and associated movement restrictions have impacted its manufacturing-driven economy, forcing some factories to close.
“Around September 30, safe communities can ease COVID-related restrictions and revive business and social activities,” Chinh said at a government meeting.
“Tackling the pandemic is not just about putting up physical barriers and restrictions,” he said, adding that the pandemic was more or less under control.
The move comes as Vietnam has seen a drop in the daily death rate from the virus. It reported 9,682 new cases on Saturday, marking the third consecutive day the infection rate has fallen below 10,000. The country has recorded more than 746,600 cases in total, with 18,400 deaths.
Foreign investors in Vietnam have warned the government that its strict lockdown rules in the south have forced some companies to move production elsewhere. Read more
Vietnam’s gross domestic product could grow between 3.5% and 4.0% this year, well below the government’s previous target of 6.5%, the country’s Minister of Planning and Investment said , Nguyen Chi Dung, quoted by state media. Read more
Vietnam, with a population of 98 million, is stepping up its vaccination program. Although daily inoculations reached 700,000, its vaccination rate of 7.61% is one of the lowest in the region.
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