Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam (second from left) chairs the teleconference with HCM City on June 17 (Photo: VNA)
Speaking via teleconference on June 17, Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Truong Son, who is currently in HCM City, said the local COVID-19 situation remains “very complicated” after 15 days of social distancing, with several chains of infection still detected in the community.
“However, in terms of epidemiology, we have opportunities to control the chains of infection,” he noted.
HCM City has readied a treatment plan for the scenario of recording 5,000 patients and also geared up equipment for severe cases, he said, adding that it has devised a plan to implement the local vaccination campaign, expected to begin on June 19.
From June 18, the city is going to pilot self-collection of samples for COVID-19 testing and home-quarantine of F1s (persons with direct contact with confirmed cases). It will also step up examination at concentrated quarantine sites to prevent cross-infection as well as in the community and industrial parks, Son said.
Regarding the 836,000 AstraZeneca vaccine doses donated by the Japanese Government that have been transported to HCM City, Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Duong Anh Duc said authorities have identified the priority groups and devised the inoculation plan with the aim of vaccinating 200,000 people per day.
The city is also working to raise its testing capacity to 30,000 individual tests per day, he added.
Speaking from Hanoi, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, head of the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control, said as HCM City is a big municipality experienced in the pandemic combat, its restriction measures should be carried out on the smallest possible scale.
As social distancing aims to slow down the spread of the coronavirus to discover clusters and transmission sources and identify the affected areas to seal off, the city should strive not to extend large-scale social distancing, which has lasted for 14 days.
Authorities need to speed up epidemiological surveys to classify “safe” areas for easing restrictions while control over high-risk zones must be tightened, Dam went on.
For industrial parks, the Deputy PM requested the city to sustain “strong” measures and increase screening tests there so as to detect any COVID-19 cases within the first three days since their infection.
He also asked for quick completion of guidelines for the pilot home-quarantine of F1s and self-collection of samples for testing.
As of June 17 evening, Vietnam documented a total of 12,150 COVID-19 cases, including 10,483 locally transmitted ones. The number of cases since April 27, when the latest resurgence began, amounted to 8,913, according to the Ministry of Health.
On the day, HCM City recorded 137 infections, raising the total number of cases to 1,197.