Staff from the HCM City Traditional Medicine Institute take samples for COVID-19 tests from residents in Gò Vấp District. — Photo courtesy of the institute
HCM CITY — Nearly half a million samples taken for COVID-19 testing on August 23-24 showed that the infection rate was 3.6 per cent, a slight drop from the 4-5 per cent rate (per 500,000 samples) in previous days, according to Health Minister Nguyễn Thanh Long.
The city has begun large-scale testing to quickly detect infections for quarantine and treatment, as requested by Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính.
Statistics also showed that travel on city streets has fallen by 80 per cent compared to previous days, according to Long. “It shows we are on the right track in containing the virus,” he said.
As many as 400 mobile medical stations, with medical equipment, oxygen tanks and medicines, are operating round-the-clock to take care of people in the city.
Districts across the city have begun to speed up testing of people in red zones (extremely high-risk area) and orange zones (high-risk area) to detect positive cases as ordered by the Prime Minister.
HCM City has 312 wards, communes and towns (with more than 25,000 residential areas). There are about 3,100 red zones and 2,000 orange zones, with about 2 million samples to be taken.
Of the 170,000 rapid-test samples taken on August 23, more than 6,000 samples were positive, according to the city’s health department.
After completing testing, the Department of Health will evaluate the COVID-19 pandemic situation in the city and suggest future prevention solutions to the HCM City Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.
Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính, who also spoke at the meeting, has been named the head of the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control. He said that social distancing measures must be strictly implemented and that all people must have enough food and clothing, as well as access to medical services round-the-clock in a timely manner.
“We must ensure that people can have early and quick access to healthcare provided by commune and ward authorities.”
According to the HCM City Centre for Disease Control, HCM City, the COVID hotspot in the country, has recorded as many as 190,166 cases since late April. On Monday, the city began a strict policy that requires “everyone to stay at home” at all times. Food is being delivered to households by military and police teams. — VNS