|A fisherman on September 12 is tested after leaving his boat to enter Vàm Láng town in Tiền Giang Province’s Gò Công Đông District. VNA/VNS Photo Hữu Chí|
MEKONG DELTA — The Mekong Delta provinces of Tiền Giang and Đồng Tháp should continue anti-pandemic measures and focus on reducing the death rate from COVID-19, Deputy Prime Minister Vũ Đức Đam has told provincial authorities.
Đam led a inspection team to Tiền Giang and Đồng Tháp provinces on Friday.
At a meeting in Đồng Tháp, Đam said the province police should visit each house to ask members to fill out medical declarations and ask them if they had returned from COVID-19 hotspots.
Preventing cross-transmission at quarantine facilities was also important, Đam said.
In locked-down areas, rapid tests should be administered to detect COVID-19 patients quickly.
The province also needs to prepare scenarios for a possible COVID-19 outbreak after re-opening, Đam said. People must follow the Ministry of Health’s 5k message: Khẩu trang (face mask) - Khử khuẩn (disinfection) - Khoảng cách (distance) - Không tụ tập (no gathering) – Khai báo y tế (health declaration).
Periodic tests, especially at factories, workplaces, traditional markets, areas with high number of residents, and high-risk areas should be done properly, he added.
The province has seen a sharp drop in new COVID-19 cases, but the number of cases in quarantine facilities and locked-down areas is still high, according to Deputy Minister of Health Đỗ Xuân Tuyên.
The death rate due to COVID-19 also remains high.
The province reported that 50 per cent of districts, towns, and cities are classified as high risk. It has asked the Ministry of Health to allocate 500,000 more doses of COVID-19 vaccines this month.
Tiền Giang Province
Nguyễn Văn Mười, vice chairman of the Tiền Giang Province People’s Committee, said that 12,468 COVID-19 cases had been recorded since the fourth wave broke out, including 311 deaths.
Since August 28, when the second COVID-19 screening campaign ended, the province has had no "extremely high-risk" or red zones. Châu Thành and Chợ Gạo districts and Mỹ Tho City are classified as "high risk" or orange zones. It has seven districts that are now safe (green) zones.
The province has reached nine out of 11 criteria for COVID-19 prevention and control. It started its third COVID-19 screening campaign on Thursday and targets controlling the outbreak in two to four weeks.
The province’s death rate due to COVID-19 has fallen because of good collaboration in all levels of the treatment system. Tests were given in each village and residential quarter based on the results of epidemiological investigations.
Dr Nguyễn Vũ Thượng, deputy head of the HCM City Pasteur Institute, said that around 40 per cent of biological products needed for testing were saved by giving tests based on the results of epidemiological investigations. Thanks to tests in each village and residential quarter, the province was able to identify the risks there.
Đam said to prepare to return to the new normal, the province should not be in a hurry to re-open if safety cannot be ensured. Production enterprises need to have measures to ensure safety and the province should work with HCM City to have solutions for its workers to return safely to the city. VNS