A HCM City resident receives a COVID-19 vaccine at District 11 Hospital. VNA/VNS Photo by Hồng Giang
HCM CITY — The Government has agreed to prioritise vaccine distribution to HCM City and parts of Đồng Nai, Bình Dương and Long An Provinces, the country's top COVID-19 hotspots, Deputy Prime Minister Vũ Đức Đam said at a conference in the city on Tuesday.
Đam said there would be enough vaccines received by the end of the year to create herd immunity. But in the next few weeks, very few batches of vaccines will arrive, and most of these will be given to HCM City.
On August 9, Việt Nam received 590,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines, and the Ministry of Health immediately distibuted 530,000 doses to the city. As of August 9, the city had received 4.2 million doses of vaccine.
"Controlling the pandemic doesn't mean there will be no new cases. It means protecting and maintaining green zones (COVID-19 free areas) in each province, and isolating the outbreak clusters. The whole region must set up a solid green belt," Dam said.
HCM City was asked to control the outbreak by mid-September, and Đồng Nai and Bình Dương by the end of this month, or no later than mid-September.
The less-affected provinces of Sóc Trăng, Bến Tre, and Bình Phước have committed to control the pandemic in the next 10 days, and other southern provinces in the next 20 days.
Đam said that local authorities must focus on expanding green zones. Despite social distancing under the Government’s Directive 16 for 20 days, the number of F0 cases (reported infections) has not decreased, and some provinces have seen rising numbers.
Đam attributed the increase to the fact that many people were not following safe distancing among individuals and families.
Local authorities have also complained that hundreds of people have found ways to pass through checkpoints to return to their hometowns in southern provinces.
Đam said that if localities tightened management during social distancing, the outbreak could be controlled in three or four weeks. If not, social distancing will have to continue.
The Ministry of Health has issued a treatment regimen for patients, classifying five clinical levels: asymptomatic, mild, moderate, severe and critical. But local health departments can create their own regimen according to their current situation, according to Dam.
Although Việt Nam’s strategy is implementing the dual goals of controlling the pandemic and promoting development, HCM City and southern provinces as well as localities nationwide must pay more attention to controlling the outbreak and protecting the people. VNS