COVID-19 pandemic costs Ho Chi Minh City over $11.8bn: chairwoman

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COVID-19 pandemic costs Ho Chi Minh City over $11.8bn: chairwoman

Chairwoman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Council Nguyen Thi Le speaks at the fourth session of the council on December 9, 2021. Photo: Tu Trung / Tuoi Tre

The COVID-19 pandemic has so far resulted in economic losses surpassing VND273 trillion (US$11.8 billion) in Ho Chi Minh City, according to chairwoman of the municipal People’s Council Nguyen Thi Le.

The Ho Chi Minh City People’s Council convened its fourth session from December 7 to 9 to assess the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and discuss socio-economic development plans for the coming years.

Deputies at the conference passed 13 resolutions on various fields to revive the city’s economy while adapting safely and effectively controlling the pandemic.

In her closing speech, chairwoman Le said the pandemic had severely impacted many aspects of the southern city and Vietnam in general this year.

The pandemic has caused an economic downturn, disrupted supply chains, and labor shortage, as well as affecting people’s lives and health.

“Ho Chi Minh City’s economic losses due to COVID-19 in 2020 and 2021 are estimated to top VND273 trillion,” Le elaborated.

The city’s Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) is expected to drop this year, compared with a six percent growth target approved previously, she added.

In order to improve the situation in 2022, the city needs to implement the approved resolutions in an effective and transparent manner, the chairwoman continued.

Focus will be directed on strengthening the health system, carrying out administrative reforms, improving the investment environment, and supporting businesses.

The city will strive to achieve a six to 6.5 percent GRDP growth rate next year.

Competent authorities will continue working to provide assistance for residents affected by the pandemic and ensure social security.

The city is planning to allow ninth and twelfth graders to resume offline learning in the coming time, chairwoman Le stated.

More students will be allowed to return to school in the future as long as the plan matches the city’s vaccination progress, she added.

Ho Chi Minh City has been the hardest-hit locality since the fourth outbreak hit Vietnam on April 27, with more than 483,300 local infections.

Health workers have administered nearly 14.8 million vaccine doses, with more than 7.9 million out of nine million people in the city fully vaccinated.

The city began inoculating children aged 12 to 17 against COVID-19 in late October.

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