Motorbikes drive past a billboard warning against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

HANOI: (Reuters) - Vietnam s business hub Ho Chi Minh City will start relaxing coronavirus curbs from later on Thursday, allowing for the resumption of more business and social activities city officials said at a news conference.

Ealier, the epic COVID-19 lockdown in Vietnam s Ho Chi Minh City was extended until the end of September this year which risked social and economic costs in the nation s largest city.

City leaders said Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh approved their proposal to extend the lockdown beyond the original Sept. 15 deadline. Citizens and businesses  including foreign companies  in the metropolis were in their 109th day of a lockdown that has been in place since May 31.

COVID19 death rates in Vietnam business hub

As coronavirus deaths rose in the city of 9 million people  Vietnam deployed troops on Aug. 23 to enforce tough social distancing measures that require residents to "stay where they are." Hanoi had hoped to control the outbreak in Ho Chi Minh City  the country s economic engine, by Wednesday s deadline.