HCMC finalizes plan for school reopening: City Chairman

Chairman of Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee Phan Van Mai emphasized that city administration will work with the education sector and the health sector this week to soon finalize the plan for school reopening after Covid-19. Particularly, students in outlying districts of Cu Chi and Hoc Mon possibly go back to school earlier than their peers in other districts.


HCMC finalizes plan for school reopening: City Chairman ảnh 1 At the meeting (Photo: SGGP)

At the meeting between President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and a group of National Assembly deputies of Unit 10 with voters in Cu Chi and Hoc Mon districts on November 16, Chairman Mai disclosed some key tasks in the fight against Covid-19 and socio-economic recovery in the southern metropolis.

The National Assembly deputies of the unit 10 include President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Chairwoman of the People's Council of Ho Chi Minh City Nguyen Thi Le, and Political Commissar of the HCMC High Command, major general Phan Van Xung.

The meeting was held online and offline with the participation of Chairman of the Government Office Le Khanh Hai, Chairman of HCMC People’s Committee Phan Van Mai, and Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Le Hoa Binh.

According to Mr. Mai, the southern largest city and other provinces will organize the memorial ceremony for Covid-19 victims on November 19. He said that the development of the coronavirus pandemic is still unpredictable; therefore, he warned people not to neglect preventive measures against Covid-19 with gradual economic recovery as per the government’s Resolution 128.

Learning the lesson from the last fight against Covid-19, the city is focusing on strengthening health care facilities and methodologies to keep track of the daily development of the pandemic in each district.

Chairman Mai acknowledged that business establishments have not worked well with local administration and the health sector in the management of infected workers. Many cases of Covid-19 were detected at factories that have not promptly informed the local authorities for isolation but let infected employees return to their accommodation and residence for a long time.

HCMC finalizes plan for school reopening: City Chairman ảnh 2 Chairman Mai ( R) and Chairwoman of Cu Chi People's Committee Pham Thi Thanh Hien (Photo: SGGP)

He said the city administration has asked the health sector to close this loophole.

When it comes to economic recovery, Chairman Mai assessed that because of the prolonged social distancing, business activity is grinding to a halt, Covid-19 has disrupted the supply chain of goods and badly affected people’s livelihood.

Therefore, when the epidemic is under control, Ho Chi Minh City has gradually opened up socio-economic activities while safety is the top priority. He revealed Ho Chi Minh City is basically recovering gradually. Specifically, nearly 100 percent of enterprises in industrial parks, export processing zones, and high-tech zones have resumed operations at 70-90 percent of their capacities in various industries.

Mr. Mai affirmed that the southern metropolitan area is both implementing the central government’s policies and a program to support production and business enterprises. In addition, the city is finalizing a plan for economic recovery and development in two phases from now to mid-2022 and from mid-2022 onwards.

Regarding vaccine coverage, Mr. Mai emphasized the city has a high vaccine coverage rate. However, many residents have not been vaccinated for different reasons. The Ho Chi Minh City Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control has asked localities to continue encouraging unvaccinated inhabitants to go to the nearest medical facility for getting vaccine jabs.

Regarding the third dose vaccination, Chairman Mai announced that the city has been well prepared and registered with the Ministry of Health. However, while many other localities have low vaccine coverage, the government must carefully calculate.

Regarding vaccination for children, up to now, Ho Chi Minh City has basically completed the first dose vaccination for children aged 12-17 years old. Presently, children are going to get the second dose of the vaccines – an important step for school reopening.

Referring to school reopening that many people are paying much attention to, Chairman Mai said that this is a significant issue for a city with 1.7 million students.

Mr. Mai acknowledged that students are having to study online resulting in many problems as many poor students do not have devices. Plus, students may get addicted to video games.

Therefore, he directed the Department of Education and Training to coordinate with the Department of Health to prepare for reopening schools.

In the fight against the epidemic, Chairman Mai emphasized that city authorities are taking heeds of improvement of the grassroots health system.

Regarding social housing, Chairman Mai acknowledged that social housing is a headache during the prolonged Covid-19 pandemic. Ho Chi Minh City is focusing on three pillars of epidemic prevention, economic recovery, and social security. In which, social housing is a part of the social security pillar, including housing, employment, and support for disadvantaged people.

Ho Chi Minh City is directing the construction sector to coordinate with related agencies to implement the city's housing development plan for the period 2020 – 2025. The city planners will pay attention to the construction of affordable housing for workers, low-income people, and alternative houses for replacement of houses on and along canals, old apartments and other social houses to meet the housing needs of city dwellers.