|A mobile medical team from the Military Medical Academy distributes medicines to COVID patients being treated at home in HCM City’s District 8. Photo tuoitre.vn|
HCM CITY — The Secretary of the HCM City Party Committee has said the COVID-19 rate of 3.8 per cent in high-risk areas identified following mass testing over the past week is "within the city’s capacity to handle".
Speaking at an online meeting on Monday, Nguyễn Văn Nên said the city would continue to focus on rapid testing, vaccination and treatment to reduce the number of deaths.
“It will ensure distribution of essential goods and social security for people, especially vulnerable ones.
“Units in charge of social security and goods supply will need to work to ensure transparency in social security and the supply of goods for people.
“This is, however, only the very first step in the long-term fight against the pandemic. We cannot lock down forever, but we cannot relax measures unless the situation becomes predictable.”
He encouraged everyone to stay calm while urging them to continue to “stay where they are” to slow down the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant.
He urged the city Department of Health to establish teams of pharmacists to help distribute medicines to patients being treated and monitored at home.
Dương Anh Đức, vice chairman of the People’s Committee, said large-scale testing in extremely high-risk and high-risk areas has been helping find 4,800 cases daily.
Phan Văn Mãi, chairman of the People’s Committee, reiterated the city’s goal of basically bringing the outbreak under control by September 15.
“By then most people aged over 18 in the city would have had their first shot, and people who have already had the first jab will be able to get the second shot on schedule.”
He said it is vital to vaccinate delivery and logistics workers on a priority basis since they play a major role in supply chains.
He stressed the major role played by medical stations and mobile medical stations at ward or commune levels in taking care of patients at home.
He called on the Department of Industry and Trade to consider reopening food stores so that each ward and commune has at least one.
“The City Welfare Centre has prepared two million welfare packages to ensure no one will lack food.
“The head of communes, wards or townships will be responsible for drawing up the list of people in need of help in their localities.”
The Department of Health has called on Thủ Đức City and district authorities to speed up mass testing in low-risk areas and complete it by September 1.
Over a week of testing, the city found more than 64,300 positive cases, or 3.8 per cent of samples taken, which the health sector said was an “acceptable level.” The World Health Organization has said 5 per cent is acceptable.
The city is treating 40,133 patients at medical facilities, including 2,449 aged under 16, 2,736 people critically ill and on ventilators and 16 requiring ECMO.
Another 20,604 are being treated at isolation facilities in various districts.
Of 83,643 people being treated at home, 24,050 have recovered and will remain isolated for another two weeks.
The city provides medicines for patients being treated at home, including antiviral drug Molnupiravir, which is in the Ministry of Health’s experimental phase.
The city has administered vaccines to 6.12 million people, including a second to more than 332,000.
The number of new infections since the fourth wave hit the country in late April has topped 445,000, with HCM City accounting for more than 216,000. — VNS