COVID-19 response top priority task of Ho Chi Minh City: official

Friday, 2020-12-04 10:16:26
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Students at Thu Duc High School in Thu Duc District, Ho Chi Minh City, have their body temperature checked before entering the school. (Photo: NDO)
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NDO – COVID-19 response must be considered as the top priority task of Ho Chi Minh City at this time to effectively control the outbreak and continue its socio-economic development process.

>>> Three imported cases of COVID-19 recorded on Dec 3

The request was made by Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong at a meeting on December 3 to discuss measures to deal with the new coronavirus outbreak in the city, following the detection of several local transmissions after Vietnam’s 89-day streak of having no infections in the community.

Speaking at the meeting, Phong required agencies, organisations and enterprises to tighten epidemic prevention work, and ordered local departments and administrations to stay prepared for any situation.

He also urged the city’s residents to wear face masks in public places and stay away from crowded places.

Director of the Health Department Nguyen Tan Binh reported that no new COVID-19 infections were found in the city on December 3. As of 14:00 that day, the health sector had gathered test samples from 2,344 persons, including 851 F1 (persons who had direct contact with COVID-19 patients) and 1,492 F2 (persons who had contact with F1). Results of 2,196 samples have become available, with three samples positive to SARS-CoV-2 (Patients 1347, 1348 and 1349, all related to Patient 1342 – the first local transmission case found after 89 days), while 148 samples are still waiting for results.

The health department has temporarily isolated the accommodations of patients and nearby homes, conducted disinfection of areas related to patients, and quickly tracked those who had contact with patients.

After four COVID-19 cases were detected in the city during November 28 - December 2, many schools have temporarily closed and allowed students to take online lessons. Hundreds of thousands of students at all levels along with teachers and school staff members have to remain absent from school.

The city administration also kept in place an order issued late December 3 on suspending events and activities gathering large numbers of people when not really necessary.

Locals wear face masks while travelling on a downtown street in Hanoi. (Photo: NDO)

In Hanoi, the capital city acted the same as Hanoi City People's Committee Chairman Chu Ngoc Anh issued an order on the same day, urging for urgent measures to prevent the epidemic in Hanoi, including stopping unnecessary crowded activities and events, while always in a state of ready to respond quickly to any situations regarding COVID-19.

Also on December 3, Anh inspected COVID-19 prevention and control at Garment 10 Corporation and Duc Giang General Hospital, during which the Hanoi’s leader urged the units to strictly comply with epidemic prevention measures as recommended by the Health Ministry and the city authorities.

Chairman of the People's Committee of Hanoi Chu Ngoc Anh (C) inspects the COVID-19 prevention work at Duc Giang General Hospital, December 3, 2020. (Photo: NDO)

The Minister of Education and Training has signed a document urging local departments of education and training and schools to strictly implement measures to prevent COVID-19, as well as ensuring school safety against the complicated developments of the epidemic. The ministry requested schools to strengthen the propagation of epidemic prevention and control measures in education facilities, limit the organisation of crowded activities if not really necessary, and develop plans for ensuring health for learners, teachers, administrators and school staff.

Regarding persons involved in the latest COVID-19 transmissions, the Investigation Security Agency of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Public Security on December 3 decided to launch criminal proceedings against those who were involved in transmitting COVID-19 to the community, in accordance with Article 240 of the 2015 Criminal Code.

Deputy Director of the municipal Department of Public Security Col. Nguyen Sy Quang said violations in the case resulted in serious consequences, so the individuals and organisations concerned must be strictly punished.

From November 30 to December 1, the city announced four new cases of infection, including one in a quarantine facility and three others in the community after going through 120 days without local transmissions.

Regarding close contacts (F1) of Patients 1342 and 1347 living in Dong Nai Province, the local health sector on December 3 announced that seven F1s of the two Ho Chi Minh City-based patients have tested negative for the SARS-CoV-2 virus for the 1st time.

Before that, immediately after identifying these F1s, the Dong Nai authorities quickly investigated and identified more than 200 close contacts to such cases for isolation and monitoring. However, as the testing results of such seven F1s were negative, all the F2s have returned to normal activities.

Particularly for the seven above cases, they are still required to be isolated and monitored for 14 days at Dong Nai Lung Hospital according to regulations. They will be sampled for the second test on December 6.