|The HCM City Centre for Diseases Control and Prevention on November 12 launched a taskforce to conduct surveillance of COVID-19 clusters in city districts and Thủ Đức City. VNA/VNS Photo Thu Hương|
HCM CITY — The HCM City Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (HCDC) has set up a task force to monitor COVID-19 outbreaks in districts and Thủ Đức City.
When COVID-19 clusters occur, the task force will assist local authorities and medical workers via telephone or directly visit the areas to rapidly adapt to any outbreak, according to Nguyễn Hồng Tâm, deputy head of the HCDC.
The task force includes eight teams with three people each. Of the teams, six are in charge of surveillance of COVID outbreaks of residential areas in the city. The other two are in charge of surveillance of industrial parks. The HCDC will train the teams.
Tăng Chí Thượng, head of the city Department of Health, said the task force would report to the HCDC’s management board. The city plans to upgrade health stations and propose new policies for these stations to the National Assembly.
Speaking during a livestream talk “Dân hỏi – Thành phố trả lời” (Residents ask – Authorities answer), Nguyễn Văn Vĩnh Châu, deputy head of the city Department of Health, said the highest number of new COVID-19 cases has occurred in districts Bình Chánh, Hóc Môn, 12 and Bình Tân, and Thủ Đức City.
The department is monitoring the hospitalisation and fatality rates to detect unusual problems and suggest plans to the city People’s Committee.
Châu pointed out that even people fully vaccinated can get infected but they are less likely to become severely ill.
On November 12, 658 COVID-19 patients were hospitalised. The number of COVID-19 patients transferred from districts’ quarantine facilities to hospitals has increased by 100-150 each day.
The city has converted field hospitals No. 13, 14 and 16 to three-tier hospitals, including areas for treating severe cases without transfer to other hospitals.
Field hospitals and quarantine facilities have been set up at industrial parks and export processing zones as well as districts and Thủ Đức city to treat COVID-19 patients.
The city has prepared several scenarios for new outbreaks and will resume restrictions if the number of new cases is higher than the admission capacity of hospitals.
The health department has asked the General Department of Preventive Medicine under the Ministry of Health to provide an additional 18 million doses next year, including more than 14.4 million doses for people aged 18 and more, more than 1.5 million doses for children aged 12-17, and more than 2.1 million doses for children aged 3-11.
The city needs more than 1 million doses by the end of the year to provide the second shot for people aged 18 years and more and the first shot for those still unvaccinated.
For children aged 12-17, the city also needs more than 2.9 million doses.
The city currently has around 900,000 doses.
Because of the increasing number of new COVID-19 cases, the city People’s Committee has told the Department of Health and relevant agencies to set up mobile vaccination sites, especially in areas near other provinces, and bus and train stations. —VNS