All of Ho Chi Minh City’s (HCMC) 21 districts and Thu Duc City have contained the Covid-19 outbreak as defined by the Vietnamese Ministry of Health, municipal authorities said.

Pham Duc Hai, deputy head of the city Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control, told a press conference on October 11 that the southern metropolis had lifted most lockdown restrictions and reopened its economy.

Binh Chanh and Binh Tan were the last districts to meet the pandemic containment criteria, he added.

The ministry describes the outbreak as under control when the number of cases falls for two straight weeks and is at least 50 per cent lower than during the week with the highest number of cases.

Besides, the rate must decrease continuously for 14 days and there should be no new infection chain for seven days in a district.

Last month, districts 7 and Cu Chi became the first to control the outbreak.

Hai said most people had been able to adapt to “living safely with the virus” under “new normal” conditions after the city relaxed the measures.

Businesses and traditional markets had reopened, he said.

He admitted the city now faced some challenges.

“Some people have failed to implement the ministry’s 5K prevention measures such as gathering in large numbers, not wearing masks and not keeping social distance.”

The number of businesses reopening was low, and travel by people between HCMC and other provinces remained difficult due to the inconsistent travel and quarantine regulations, he noted.

The city has recorded more than 400,000 cases since the fourth wave began in late April.

As of October 10, more than seven million people or 98 per cent of people aged 18 or over had received the first vaccine dose and more than 5.2 million were fully immunised.

The city will continue to speed up vaccination while the country plans to vaccinate children aged 12 to 18, according to city authorities.

The country’s Covid hotspot is treating 15,198 patients, including 1,141 under 16 years of age, with 533 people being on ventilators and 15 requiring extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) intervention.