People in Vietnam’s largest city will be able to leave their homes on Friday after three months of strict coronavirus restrictions.
Vietnam will lift a lockdown in its largest city on Friday, ending a nearly three-month ban on travel to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
The city of Ho Chi Minh City, with a population of 10 million, will allow people to leave their homes, take food to restaurants and open other necessary businesses, the city’s website said Thursday.
An order of social distance, however, will remain in force. Schools are closed, public transport is suspended, commuting in and out of the city will be restricted, and gatherings of more than 10 people outside are prohibited.
Those who wish to take part in social activities must show proof of immunization in order to be admitted to the institution.
Ho Chi Minh City, including 11 southern provinces, went into lockdown in mid-July when cases began to rise.
According to the health ministry, delta variants of the virus have infected 770,000 people and killed at least 19,000 in the past three months. Most of the Kovid-1 deaths in Vietnam occurred in this wave, with Ho Chi Minh City being responsible for most of them.
Other southern cities have also relaxed lockdown restrictions, slowly starting operations as infections have decreased.
Last week, Vietnam’s average new case dropped by a third compared to the first of the month when 14,000 were being recorded per day, the health ministry said.
In the town of Bhung Tau, kilometers0 kilometers (miles5 miles) from Ho Chi Minh City, traffic jams were erected during roadblocks.
“We need to celebrate this day, the city that is removing the barricades so we can go out again and get back to our normal lives,” said resident Pham Van Thanh when he helped officers remove a barricade on his street.
Vietnam is stepping up vaccinations to restart the country, prioritizing for risky locations such as big cities and industrial zones.
Health authorities in Ho Chi Minh City last week approved a reduction in the interval between two shots of AstraZeneca to six weeks, in contrast to the eight to 12 weeks recommended by the manufacturers, to vaccinate people more quickly.
The health ministry says 5.5 percent of the city’s adults have been vaccinated and one percent of them have received both shots.
However, the overall vaccination rate in Vietnam is low with only 9.3 percent of the 98 million people fully vaccinated. Authorities say short supply is the reason for the delay in vaccinating the virus.