|HCM City's downtown area is deserted as the city enforces social distancing starting May 31, 2021, to curb the spread of coronavirus. — VNA/VNS Photo|
HCM CITY — Chairman of HCM City People's Committee Nguyễn Thành Phong on Monday agreed to prolong city-wide social distancing in line with the Government's Directive No 15 until the end of June, amid developments of coronavirus outbreaks in the city.
The order, imposed since May 31 following large outbreaks related to a Christian mission group and originally set to expire on Tuesday (June 15), has been extended for another two weeks (until midnight on June 30), as the city's leaders met on Monday to discuss the COVID-19 situation in the city.
Under the order, non-essential services and businesses in HCM City would continue to be halted, no gatherings of five or more in public outdoor areas are allowed, while people (especially 60 years old and above) are advised to stay home unless for essential purposes and should keep a distance of 2m during contact.
Gò Vấp District and Thạnh Lộc Ward of District 12, the initial epicentres of the outbreaks in the city and have been under more restrictive measures – in which people are ordered to not go out unless for essential purposes – since May 31, will also join the rest of the city under the Directive No 15 starting Tuesday.
HCM City Party Secretary Nguyễn Văn Nên said the city has used many measures and focused resources on battling the outbreaks but the cases are still increasing while the direct contacts to be quarantined keep going up, and not to mention the 'unknown' number of 'silent transmission' in the community taking place right now.
As of this morning, HCM City has logged a total of 819 COVID-19 cases since April 27, 2021, with the majority of cases recorded since late May, making it the third biggest coronavirus hotspot in Việt Nam's fourth wave, following the two northern provinces of Bắc Giang and Bắc Ninh.
Health authorities are concerned as many clusters in the community of unknown source of infections have been discovered during surveillance screening or following hospital admission in recent days. — VNS