Dương Anh Đức, vice chairman of the HCM City People’s Committee, speaks at a press conference on Monday about the city’s vaccination campaign. Photo courtesy of the HCM City Press Centre
HCM CITY — HCM City authorities have set up 100 inspection teams to assess prevention measures at factories and businesses in high-risk areas as ordered by the Ministry of Health.
The teams, which were formed on Monday will assess each factory and enterprise in high-risk areas, from low to medium to high risk. The factories and companies that are considered medium to high risk group must improve their COVID prevention measures. Otherwise, they will have to shut down to ensure safety, according to city authorities.
The Ministry of Health on Sunday provided an online training session on pandemic-prevention measures at businesses establishments across 21 districts in HCM City and Thủ Đức City, including factories, export processing zones, industrial parks and high-tech zones.
Dương Chí Nam, deputy director of the ministry’s Department of Health Environmental Management, said it was of utmost importance to enhance COVID prevention measures at business establishments both inside and outside export processing zones and industrial parks.
When a large number of workers gather in one place, factories and industrial parks face an extremely high risk of becoming serious outbreaks. He said that infection clusters could disrupt production and supply chains, seriously affecting the country’s economy.
Under guidance from ministry, the inspection teams within three to five days must complete evaluations and provide guidance on prevention measures for enterprises with more than 200 workers (more than 2,000 businesses).
Businesses that fail to comply with the measures must improve and will be checked again after one week. After one week, if they cannot meet the requirement of prevention measures, they must shut down, according to Nam.
The inspection teams will frequently check businesses.
It is important to enhance prevention measures at industrial parks as HCM City has 17 export processing zones, industrial parks and high-tech zones in which 1,500 companies operate, with 280,000 workers and 3,000 experts.
Experts have warned that hospitals and factories and industrial zones are among the most important locations for COVID-19 prevention measures.
According to the Ministry of Health, the city has carried out COVID-19 screening tests for around 100,000 workers at all export processing zones and industrial zones.
Earlier, the District 7 Health Centre collected 50,000 samples for testing in the Tân Thuận export processing zone. Hóc Môn District has collected 100,000 samples for tests in 11 communes and towns in the district.
Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Đường Anh Đức, vice chairman of the People’s Committee, said the city would provide 800,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to individuals in priority groups, including workers at export processing zones and industrial parks, within five days starting on June 19.
The city on June 19 began the fourth phase of its vaccination drive at 1,000 sites which will last until July 5. The city has deployed 1,032 medical teams with at least three medical workers each for the campaign.
According to the Ministry of Health, the city will continue to receive vaccine sources from the central government. It will also continue to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies to buy vaccines.
Lockdown in Bình Tân, Hóc Môn
HCM City has applied lockdown measures in hotspot areas in several neighborhoods in An Lạc Ward in Bình Tân District and several hamlets in Hóc Môn District, affecting 65,000 people who cannot leave their place of residence until further notice.
City authorities on June 20 set up checkpoints to control vehicles at the gateways of these areas.
The city also plans to increase its testing capacity, with up to 500,000 samples per day.
City authorities have decided to increase the level of prevention measures, requiring people not to leave their home unless absolutely necessary. They must continue to strictly comply with measures in the 5K message of the Health Ministry.
People have been asked to continue to take further precautions and maintain social distancing as “everyone is now potentially a source of infection”.
As of yesterday afternoon, the city had recorded about 1,700 locally transmitted cases since the end of April. The city has the second highest number of cases in the country’s fourth COVID wave, only after the Bắc Giang Province hotspot.
The city is still discovering locally transmitted cases without being able to identify the source of infection.
Since the beginning of the outbreak in late April, Việt Nam has recorded more than 10,000 locally transmitted cases. Of those, 2,445 patients have recovered. — VNS