Ho Chi Minh City may not be able to bring life back to a 'new normal' by November despite the recent optimistic signs in COVID-19 control efforts, according to chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Phan Van Mai.
The central government has issued Resolution 128 on flexible and safe adaptation to COVID-19 as well as effective control over the pandemic, chairman Mai told the press on Thursday morning.
Ho Chi Minh City will set up a working group consisting of officials and experts to access the pandemic situation in the metropolis.
A meeting will also be organized to review pandemic prevention and control efforts as well as implement plans on socio-economic recovery in accordance with Resolution 128.
“The city must first evaluate its risk level based on the government’s guidance and determine activities allowed to resume in the coming time,” the chairman continued.
Competent authorities will then make necessary adjustments to the operation criteria for each sector.
From the experience of many countries, COVID-19 developments are almost unpredictable, Mai stated.
Although the city has recently achieved positive results in the fight against COVID-19, it is still unsure whether these results are sustainable.
“We cannot predict exactly when the city will return to a 'new normal' as this depends largely on the local pandemic control efforts,” the official remarked.
“Even if the pandemic situation progresses in a favorable direction, Ho Chi Minh City may not be able to completely return to the 'new normal' by November.”
The operations of local businesses, educational institutions, healthcare facilities, and many other sectors have yet to make a full recovery, he elaborated.
The chairman added that the municipal authorities may resume dine-in service on a trial basis at some venues that meet all safety conditions.
“We must make cautious steps, as a wrong move can erase all the achievements obtained,” he said.
Ho Chi Minh City has been the hardest-hit locality in the country since the fourth outbreak began on April 27 with over 414,744 local infections and over 16,000 fatalities.
The city had imposed social distancing measures at various levels since May 31 before loosening multiple restrictions on October 1, as the majority of its adult population had been vaccinated with at least one dose.
Daily infections have plummeted in recent times, with 909 cases recorded on Thursday compared to 4,372 patients reported on September 30, according to the Ministry of Health's data.