Chairman of the HCM City People’s Committee, Nguyễn Thành Phong, on July 20 checks the 115 Emergency Aid Centre, which is the co-ordinator for transporting COVID-19 patients to designated hospitals. VNA/VNS.Photo Thu Hương
HCM CITY— HCM City People’s Committee has instructed authorities in Thủ Đức City and districts to set up quarantine facilities exclusively for asymptomatic COVID patients.
If they begin to have symptoms, they will be transferred to hospitals.
Local authorities have been given the green light to use all available facilities such as university dormitories, new apartment buildings, hotels, schools, and others as quarantine facilities.
They should have separate areas for people awaiting real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing results.
Each facility will have five to 10 oxygen cylinders.
The human resources for these facilities will come from hospitals and district health centres or be dispatched by the Department of Health.
The city encourages health workers at private hospitals and clinics and retired doctors to work at these facilities.
Thủ Đức City and districts have been instructed to set up a task force to provide assistance.
Quarantine at the facilities will be for seven days for patients with no symptoms or a negative RT-PCR test or a positive test with a cycle threshold value of more than 30 (CT> 30) on the seventh day.
They will be discharged to continue their quarantine at home.
Stringent COVID-19 preventive measures
HCM City is seeking experts and ministries’ opinions on adopting more stringent COVID-19 preventive measures than it currently has in place under the Government’s Directive No 16, Secretary of the municipal Party Committee, Nguyễn Văn Nên, told a meeting on Tuesday.
That would help contain the current wave, which the ongoing measures aimed to but failed to achieve, he said.
“Deputy Prime Minister Vũ Đức Đam and the special task force in HCM City led by Deputy Minister of National Defense Võ Minh Lương should discuss and decide on further preventive measures on top of [the current] social distancing.”
Đam agreed saying stringent quarantine is the best way to reduce the spread.
The city needs further preventive measures in several areas where the outbreak has not been brought under good control, he said.
The city’s biggest challenge now is to reduce the number of severe COVID cases, he said.
He hailed the city’s efforts to set up field hospitals with oxygen concentrators to ensure patients who worsen suddenly could be provided oxygen immediately, reducing the risk of death.
It should set up more such facilities to treat patients without symptoms and with mild ones, he said.
He said he has instructed the health ministry to prioritise purchase of medical equipment and protective clothing for frontline personnel, especially at hospitals where severely affected patients are treated.
Deputy Minister of Health Nguyễn Trường Sơn said the outbreak remains complex and exact prediction of its trajectory is very difficult.
For the next 10 days the city has to adopt drastic preventive measures, he said, adding, “We hope the outbreak will slow down in the next week to 10 days after Directive No 16 is implemented in 19 provinces and cities.” VNS