At the online meeting between the city Steering Board for Covid-19 Prevention and Control and administrators in districts, Director of the Department of Health Nguyen Tan Binh reported that as of 3 PM on February 9, additional 30 people had positive result from laboratory tests and two were waiting for the results. All cases related to the cluster at Tan Son Nhat Airport.
Generally, around 1,324 cases are close contacts F1 including 926 negative people and 398 others are contacts F2. The city health sector has taken 5,851 samples in residential quarters and 3,024 of them were negative for the novel coronavirus while the remaining people are waiting for test results.
1,932 doctors and nurses in the Military Hospital 175 where patient No. 1,979, an employee at Tan Son Nhat International Airport, had visited twice before being confirmed as a Covid-19 patient on February 6 were tested negative for the coronavirus. 1,600 employees at Tan Son Nhat Airport underwent the second tests and test results of 1,400 people came out to be negative while health workers will continue conducting tests on 200 remaining samples.
The city Center for Disease Control yesterday performed tests on 1,442 relatives of Tan Son Nhat employees and those who did visit the Military Hospital 175 at the same time with patient 1,979 from February 3 and 5.
Simultaneously, HCMC also re-operated quarantine facilities in outlying district Can Gio and in Thu Duc City which can accommodate 20,000 people. Additionally, treatment infirmaries for Covid-19 patients have been re-opened in Can Gio Hospital, the city Hospital for Tropical Disease, the City Children Hospital and the newly-built ward of Tumor Hospital’s second institution.
Vice Health Minister Nguyen Truong Son said that the outbreak of Covid-19 in Tan Son Nhat Airport at first seemed to be simple but it has developed complicatedly because 15 contacts F2 were tested positive while a close contact F1 was negative. Therefore, Mr. Son said in term of logic, patient 1,979 is not F0, the health sector is investigating further.
At the meeting (Photo: SGGP)
The Ministry of Health has directed all related agencies in HCMC and neighboring localities to take part in tracking and testing mission. The Ministry also ordered the Ho Chi Minh City-based Pasteur Institute to speed up virus strain analysis task to decide whether the strain in the southern metropolis is similar to the strain which caused outbreaks in the northern provinces of Quang Ninh and Hai Duong or the new variant originating from the UK and South Africa.
When it comes to isolation of Covid-19 patients, Vice Health Minister Son said patients are required to complete 14 days of mandatory quarantine; there have been no shortage of isolation wards; local administrations should open more facilities as well as closely monitor home-quarantined patients.
Speaking at the meeting, Chairman of the HCMC People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong advised city dwellers to strictly follow the Ministry of Health’s direction including donning facemasks in public places including Nguyen Hue Flower Street. Harsh punishment will be imposed on those refusing to wear facemasks.
He emphasized that the development of Covid-19 is complicated in the city; all agencies and organizations must act quickly in tracking close contacts. He repeated that the opening ceremony of the 2021 Nguyen Hue Flower Street, which was scheduled to take place on February 9 evening has been cancelled to meet requirements of measures for the prevention and control of Covid-19 issued by the Ministry of Health. The flower street was opened on February 10 in the morning without opening ceremony.