At least 1,523 firms in Ho Chi Minh City completed procedures for corporate dissolution in the first quarter of 2020 as the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic pummels the southern metropolis.
The number of dissolved firms surged by 54.5 percent from a year earlier, the city’s vice chairman Le Thanh Liem said at a conference of the municipal Party Committee on Thursday, citing data.
Liem added more than 5,000 other companies were suspending their operations while 35 firms based in industrial parks and export processing zones were feeling the impacts of the coronavirus crisis.
As many as 998 workers lost their jobs in the three-month period while over 6,400 others were being furloughed.
Around 70,000 employees, most of them in small- and medium-sized enterprises, are expected to face the scourge of the virus outbreak in the months to come, the official warned.
He said the municipality would raise the efficiency of its work to support businesses in Q2 2020 and study drafting a handbook on conducting business in times of epidemic.
The city aims to help local firms benefit from the central government’s support packages and the locally managed state budget as soon as possible, and support coronavirus-stricken workers, according to the leader.
The administration of Ho Chi Minh City will consider proposing pushing back the timeline for personal income tax declaration and payment by three months, to June 30 at the latest, Liem said.
The city will take measures to stabilize interest rates and attract capital and will make it easier for firms to seek new sources of locally-made raw materials and products for the sake of ensuring production activities and supplies of goods.
Data from the municipal statistics office revealed that the local economy grew a mere 0.42 percent in the three-month period, compared to 7.6 percent in the same period last year.
Five out of nine major fields of service suffered negative growth in the city.
Specifically, lodging and dining services were down 31.6 percent as the number of tourist arrivals plunged by 42 percent year-on-year to 1.3 million people.
Ho Chi Minh City is among 28 cities and provinces asked to continue taking social distancing measures for another week until April 22, with a possibility of extending through April 30, after Vietnam had completed 15 days of nationwide increased social distancing on April 15.
Under the enhanced social distancing period, schools, stores, and entertainment venues are closed, gatherings of more than two people in public spaces are banned, and people are told to stay home except for trips outdoors for food, medications, and emergency care.
So far, 54 COVID-19 patients have been diagnosed in the city, with 46 of them already discharged from the hospital, according to the Ministry of Health.
The Southeast Asian country has announced a total of 268 COVID-19 cases, 198 of whom have recovered.