|Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính chaired an online meeting with HCM City’s authorities on Thursday to discuss solutions to lift difficulties amid social distancing. Photo baochinhphu.vn|
HCM CITY — Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính has ordered ministries to focus all resources to protect the health of people in HCM City and ensure their essential needs are met during the social distancing period which will start on Friday.
Chính chaired an online meeting with the city’s authorities on Thursday to discuss the social distancing period.
Minister of Health Nguyễn Thanh Long said the ministry would establish 24 working teams to assist the city in taking COVID-19 test samples and treating patients.
Long proposed the city apply three levels of social distancing: city-wide distancing following Directive 16, lockdowns of high-risk areas and centralised quarantine at outbreak epicentres
People in the epicentres must be tested once every three days. Those in high-risk areas must be tested once every five to seven days. In other areas, the ministry recommended taking group samples of five people each, Long said.
The city must prepare 50,000 beds and separate treatment areas for asymptomatic patients which account for 70 per cent of total patients. All hospitals in the city must get ready to treat serious cases.
Leading hospitals like Chợ Rẫy, HCM City Hospital for Tropical Diseases, Hospital 115 and Gia Định People’s Hospital are responsible for treating severely ill patients, Long added.
Long said 8.7 million doses of vaccines will arrive in Việt Nam this month and be prioritised for people in HCM City and pandemic-hit neighbouring localities, especially frontline workers, people from 65 years old or older and those with underlying conditions.
The inoculations will be conducted at small venues and at different times to avoid crowding at large venues. About 30 mobile vaccination cars will be sent to residential quarters, Long said.
PM Chính said the decision to apply social distancing in HCM City following Directive 16 was a tough one but “it is necessary and appropriate at this time. It has been carefully considered and discussed over and over again."
HCM City must give the highest priority to combating the pandemic to bring back the city to normal. Local authorities must accelerate socio-economic development in safe areas, he said.
Businesses and factories which meet safety criteria can continue production while following virus safety protocols. Factories are encouraged to let employees eat and drink where they work to maintain operations during the 15 days of social distancing to not disrupt the supply chain. Companies need to encourage working from home, Chính said.
He urged the city to step up supervision on social distancing protocol implementation and said the Government will continue to prioritise HCM City and localities in the southern region in terms of vaccines.
He asked local authorities to care for unemployed people, poor people and those living in disadvantaged circumstances to make sure no one lacks food, clothing or other essentials.
PM Chính agreed with the proposal made by the Minister of Health Long that HCM City must prepare for 50,000 infections.
He said hospitals must act as an anti-pandemic fortress and not become a source of infection. — VNS