Bến Thành Market in HCM City's District 1 was closed after the city started to apply strict lockdown from July 9. — VNA/VNS Photo
HCM CITY — The number of new COVID-19 cases in HCM City is forecast to keep growing in the coming days, but with serious implementation of Directive 16 and adjustments to contact tracing, sample collection, and testing strategies, the city will contain the outbreak, according to Deputy PM Vũ Đức Đam.
The head of the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control made the statement at a teleconference with the southern metropolis on Saturday.
Social distancing measures under Directive 16 have been imposed across HCM City since July 9.
Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyễn Thành Phong said the city has appealed to the entire political system and people to engage in the efforts, with a view to expanding the “green zone” in its COVID-19 map.
He noted that HCM City is conducting regular tests in locked-down and high-risk areas, increasing the number of hospital beds, and gearing up medical equipment and supplies for testing and contact tracing. It is also stepping up sample collection and enhancing testing capacity to find and isolate cases in the community early.
Efforts are being made to firmly maintain “green zones” and gradually turn “red zones” into “orange” and then “yellow” zones and return to the “safe” status, Phong added.
Deputy Minister of Health Nguyễn Trường Sơn said given the prediction of an increase in COVID-19 infections (more than 1,000 cases each day), the ministry’s special standing division in HCM City has prepared for the scenario of 1,600 new cases recorded daily.
As the number of COVID-19 cases in HCM City may reach 10,000 in the next five days, the city should strive to immediately isolate infection cases from the community, he said.
Sơn added that the health ministry has readied four plans to provide personnel for the city. Twenty-five senior officials of the ministry have also been deployed to participate in the pandemic prevention and control in the districts of HCM City.
At the meeting, Deputy PM Đam asked the city to tighten the enforcement of social distancing measures under Directive 16, keep the “green zones” safe and narrow down high-risk sites. — VNS