|Workers clean their hands by hand sanitiser at a company in Đồng Nai Province. VNA/VNS Photo|
HÀ NỘI — The southern province of Đồng Nai has been urged to tighten COVID-19 prevention and control to minimise the risk of infection in industrial parks while its two neighbouring localities – HCM City and Bình Dương – are becoming major COVID-19 hotspots in Việt Nam.
Chairing an online meeting between the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control and Đồng Nai authorities on Thursday morning, Deputy Prime Minister Vũ Đức Đam said that it was urgently necessary to monitor people who frequently travelled from provinces to Đồng Nai like workers, drivers or those who transport goods.
They must submit health declarations at checkpoints whenever they entered the province, he said.
The province was also asked to adopt measures to better manage workers’ schedules, especially those who are living in other provinces but working in Đồng Nai.
Four COVID-19 cases linked to patients in HCM City, Đà Nẵng and Bình Dương have been reported in Đồng Nai Province but the alert was raised to the highest level as Đồng Nai is hosting 1.2 million workers – the biggest working force in Việt Nam.
According to the national committee, factories and companies should rearrange shifts so that if an infection is reported, only one production line involved would be stopped instead of halting production of the whole factory or company.
Deputy PM Đam asked the provincial authorities to prepare facilities, staff and equipment to respond to the disease outbreak, particularly in testing, tracing and isolating COVID-19-hit areas.
Director of the province’s Health Department Phan Huy Anh Vũ said that in the fourth wave of COVID-19 in Việt Nam, four COVID-19 cases were reported in the province with 500 F1s and 2,000 F2s detected.
“Due to close linkage with HCM City and Bình Dương, there is a high possibility of the spread of COVID-19 to Đồng Nai,” Vũ said, adding that the province prepared nearly 20 concentrated quarantine areas for about 3,000-5,000 people.
Đồng Nai Lung Hospital and Đồng Nai Dermatology Hospital would be used for COVID-19 treatment only if needed.
Vũ added that thanks to Health Ministry’s support, the province now had three COVID-19 testing units that could deal with about 5,000 single tests daily or 50,000 pooled sample tests per day. Their capacity could be increased to 12,000 single tests per day.
Vũ asked for COVID-19 vaccines for workers as soon as possible.
He also recommended a meeting where authorities of HCM City, Bình Dương and Đồng Nai discuss travel restrictions. Đồng Nai authorities also planned to arrange workers to stay in factories to minimise infection risk and continue working.
Also on Thursday morning, Deputy Minister of Health Nguyễn Trường Sơn inspected COVID-19 prevention and control at Đồng Nai Province General Hospital and two companies at Amata Industrial Park.
Sơn recommended that Đồng Nai should have an appropriate testing strategy, especially the protection of hospitals and medical facilities for early and quick detection of cases with clinical signs of COVID-19 when they reached there for examination and treatment.
Rapid testing, single sample testing and pooled sample testing must be combined properly and effectively.
The province was suggested to allow F1s to take health quarantine at home or in residential areas with the supervision of health authorities.
The Ministry of Health assigned HCM City-based Chợ Rẫy Hospital to guide the province in preparing resuscitation facilities, supporting Bình Dương and Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu provinces when there are serious cases.
Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) will be given to Đồng Nai so that it could soon set up a treatment area for COVID-19 patients in critical conditions. The area could start with 10-20 beds and then increase to 50 beds. VNS