HCM City's post office – a tourist attraction in the city – has not seen any visitors in recent days. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Vũ
HÀ NỘI – HCM City has been asked to work harder to impose restriction measures on the smallest possible scale so as not to prolong large-scale social distancing.
Speaking via teleconference on Thursday, Deputy Minister of Health Nguyễn Trường Sơn, who is currently in HCM City, said the local COVID-19 situation remains “very complicated” after 15 days of social distancing, with several chains of infection still detected in the community.
“However, in terms of epidemiology, we have opportunities to control the chains of infection,” he noted.
HCM City has readied a treatment plan for the scenario of recording 5,000 patients and also geared up equipment for severe cases, he said, adding that it has devised a plan to implement the local vaccination campaign, expected to begin on June 19.
From June 18, the city is going to pilot self-collection of samples for COVID-19 testing and home-quarantine of F1s (persons with direct contact with confirmed cases). It will also step up examination at concentrated quarantine sites to prevent cross-infection as well as in the community and industrial parks, Son said.
Regarding the 836,000 AstraZeneca vaccine doses donated by the Japanese Government that have been transported to HCM City, Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Dương Anh Đức said authorities have identified the priority groups and devised the inoculation plan with the aim of vaccinating 200,000 people per day.
The city is also working to raise its testing capacity to 30,000 individual tests per day, he added.
Speaking from Hà Nội, Deputy Prime Minister Vũ Đức Đam, head of the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control, said as HCM City is a big municipality experienced in the pandemic combat, its restriction measures should be carried out on the smallest possible scale.
As social distancing aims to slow down the spread of the coronavirus to discover clusters and transmission sources and identify the affected areas to seal off, the city should strive not to extend large-scale social distancing, which has lasted for 14 days.
Authorities need to speed up epidemiological surveys to classify “safe” areas for easing restrictions while control over high-risk zones must be tightened, Đam said.
For industrial parks, the Deputy PM requested the city to sustain “strong” measures and increase screening tests there so as to detect any COVID-19 cases within the first three days of infection.
He also asked for quick completion of guidelines for the pilot home-quarantine of F1s and self-collection of samples for testing.
By Friday morning, HCM City has confirmed 1,257 COVID-19 cases since late April. — VNS