HCM City leaders meeting on Tuesday discuss a co-ordinated response to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus. — VNA/VNS Photo
HCM CITY — HCM City leaders have called for a co-ordinated response to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus and raise public awareness of the risk of the SARS-CoV-2’ spread in the city.
Nguyễn Thiện Nhân, Secretary of the city Party Committee, said at a meeting on Tuesday that early detection and quarantine of infected people are key in the fight against the epidemic.
The city has earmarked 1,000 isolated beds in hospitals to quarantine and treat infected patients, he said.
The medical system would be overburdened and there would be not enough doctors and nurses to treat infected patients if the number of cases exceeds 1,000, he warned.
“There is high pressure on the leaders of districts and wards to prevent the spread of infection in their communities and promptly quarantine suspected cases.”
He urged State agencies to focus on efforts to stop the virus from spreading in the community and quarantining suspected individuals in a timely manner.
Nguyễn Thành Phong, chairman of the city People’s Committee, said the current hot weather would aid the city’s efforts to contain the virus.
As the country’s economic hub, the city receives a large number of domestic and international visitors, raising the risk of a pandemic amid worsening outbreaks in several more countries, he said.
City authorities have urged the Government to further extend the school closure until the end of March as a precaution after coronavirus disease (COVID-19) surfaced in numerous countries and territories.
Nearly two million students and teachers returning to school at the same time would increase the risk of infection, Lê Hồng Sơn, director of the city Department of Education and Training, warned.
The city is however prepared for the resumption of all classes if the Government mandates the opening of schools on March 2, he said.
Kindergartens and primary schools will remain closed until March 15, according to a proposal by the Department of Education and Training.
Five-year-olds and fifth graders will return to classes from March 16, while the exact date of resumption for other students at kindergartens and primary schools will be decided later. This is done to ensure that not all students return on the same day, and the oldest in each level begin first.
Students in secondary and high schools will return to classes on March 16 except ninth and 12th graders, who will start half-day classes on March 2.
Training centres for foreign languages, information technology and vocational skills will resume on March 16.
The department has postponed three city-level contests, Olympic Competition, Robot Talent Competition and April 30 Competition. — VNS