|Vietnamese authorities return a violator (in black) to their Chinese counterparts. Photo plo.vn|
HCM CITY— To prevent the spread of the coronavirus, HCM City Police should work with the People's Court to sue individuals who illegally enter the city, the chairman of the city People’s Committee, Nguyễn Thành Phong, said at a meeting with district authorities on Monday.
Since May, the city has detected 152 people entering the city illegally, including one person who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2.
This could be a serious source of transmission if the city does not control such entries, Phong said.
He instructed police to strengthen inspections and set up booths to check for people illegally entering the city.
Phong said that although the city had not recorded any new COVID-19 incidence in community in the last 15 days, the risk of an outbreak still existed because of the city's high population density and travel demands.
He told leaders of people’s committees in districts, communes, wards and towns and relevant agencies to remain vigilant because the outbreak in Đà Nẵng had spread to 15 other provinces and cities in the country.
“We need to be more drastic in the implementation of preventive measures against the COVID-19 pandemic. If the city has new incidences of COVID-19 in the community, it will be dangerous because the city has high population density and busy economic activities, leading to more rapid transmission than other provinces and cities,” Phong said.
Local authorities and relevant agencies should prepare long-term scenarios to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic, he added.
The city has 15 COVID-19 patients being treated at hospitals, while 182 people have symptoms of a respiratory infection. The latter are being watched and tested at hospitals’ quarantine areas.
As of August 17, as many as 53,317 people who have returned from Đà Nẵng have filled out health declarations. Six of them have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and 52,675 negative for the virus. The others are waiting for test results.
The city plans to expand screening tests for people coming from provinces and cities with a high number of COVID-19 cases, such as Quảng Nam, Quảng Ngãi, and Hải Dương and Hà Nội.
More than 21,000 enterprises have been dissolved, leaving thousands of workers unemployed. The city plans to offer a second assistance package to enterprises so they can maintain production and trade.
Enterprises in the tourism industry have been seriously affected. Many hotels had a previous occupancy rate of 70-80 per cent, but the rate has fallen to 2-3 per cent for several four and five-star hotels owned by Saigontourist because of the lack of foreign tourists.
The tourism industry’s drop in turnover would affect the city's economic growth because tourism accounted for 62 per cent of the city’s gross domestic product, Phong said.
The city Department of Industry and Trade said that people's purchases of food and daily necessities dropped by 10 per cent. The number of customers going to supermarkets had fallen by 50 per cent because people were reluctant to visit crowded areas.
Phong instructed local authorities to listen to enterprises and help them resolve problems, and report to the city People’s Committee.
In the previous COVID-19 outbreak, the city People’s Council approved an assistance package for residents and enterprises affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the city Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, the city provided allowances to 543,334 people affected by COVID-19, totalling VNĐ595 billion (US$25.6 million).
The city also paid more than VNĐ58 billion ($2.4 million) to 56,512 workers who were laid off. As many as 1,347 business households with income under VNĐ100 million per year received a total of VNĐ1.3 billion.VNS