A food truck at HCM City’s District 3 on July 16. The city is under a strict social distancing directive. VNA/VNS Photo Quang Châu
HCM CITY — HCM City will continue social distancing under the Prime Minister’s Directive No.16 and apply more stringent COVID-19 preventive measures in very high-risk areas, Phan Văn Mãi, deputy secretary of the HCM City Party Committee, said at a press meeting on July 21.
The current 15-day social distancing period under Directive No.16 that started on July 9 will end on Friday (July 23), but the city is still seeing an increase in new COVID-19 cases and the number has yet to reach its peak, according to Mãi.
The city is preparing for more stringent COVID-19 preventive measures and is telling the public to seriously follow regulations, including keeping a safe distance in the area where they live to reduce the spread of the virus in their community.
“In areas with a large number of people and at a very high risk of transmission, residents are not complying with regulations on COVID-19 prevention and control,” Mãi said, adding that local authorities were working to resolve these problems.
The city has a map with green- and red-coloured areas that regularly updates the COVID-19 situation. The green areas are sites without COVID-19 cases, while the red areas are sites with positive COVID -19 cases.
“Previously, the city focused on high-risk areas. However, the city will now carry out further activities to protect and try to gradually expand the green areas,” Mãi said.
The green area for Củ Chi District, for instance, has expanded as it now has more communes without COVID-19 cases.
Mãi said the city would also enhance supply sources to ensure food for people during the social distancing period and carry out further methods to maintain production at enterprises.
The city has been working with the HCM Ciy Export Processing Zone and Industrial Park Authority and associations to change measures to ensure safety in enterprises' production activities.
Mãi noted that conditions at traditional markets were not good and the lack of safe distancing was creating transmission risks.
To reopen traditional markets, the markets' managers must ensure safe distances and strictly comply with the Ministry of Health’s 5K message to avoid triggering new COVID-19 clusters.
The city is also encouraging associations and companies to use a variety of ways to supply goods to customers.
The city Department of Health is taking efforts to manage and treat the increasing number of COVID-19 patients.
People who have a positive antigen rapid test are temporarily isolated at quarantine facilities in wards, communes and towns while waiting for the more accurate results of the PCR test.
If they have a positive PCR test result, have no symptoms, and do not have underlying medical conditions or other health problems, they will be brought to a separate area in the quarantine facilities for isolation.
The department estimates that the number of patients in this category accounts for 70 per cent of the total.
If these patients' health worsens, they will be transported to designated COVID-19 treatment hospitals to prevent fatalities.
Nguyễn Hữu Hưng, deputy head of the Department of Health, said the city has 35 COVID-19 treatment hospitals with more than 59,000 beds.
More than 35,000 COVID-19 patients are being treated at these hospitals.
Nguyễn Hồng Tâm, deputy head of the Centre for Diseases Control and Prevention, noted that no new COVID-19 clusters have been found in the city and the number of new COVID-19 cases at the city’s industrial parks and export processing zones has fallen. VNS