Covid-19 attacks HCMC state offices, hospitals

By Hong Chieu   June 19, 2021 | 02:30 am PT
Covid-19 attacks HCMC state offices, hospitals
District 4 Hospital in HCMC has stopped receiving patients from June 18 after some outpatients were diagnosed with Covid-19. Photo by VnExpress.
HCMC is suffering from a major Covid outbreak that has attacked a series of its hospitals and three state offices after first affecting factory workers.

On Friday, following a near three-week social distancing order in Ho Chi Minh City, the southern metropolis recorded the highest daily infections ever, 149, after 137 on Thursday.

The city is standing third among affected localities in the ongoing wave, which broke out April 27, with more than 1,400 cases.

It has not been able to identify the sources for 11 of its total 14 existing clusters.

In more than a few cases, they are frontline medical workers, state officials and factory workers.

A company of 791 employees at Tan Tao Industrial Park in Binh Tan District has recorded at least 26 infections. The cluster was detected on June 15 after two workers had medical examinations at a local hospital and were found infected.

Binh Tan on Friday afternoon put the People’s Committee office of An Lac Ward under lockdown after a staff member was found having contracted the new coronavirus.

The ward hosts the Ehome residential building, currently a cluster of at least 69 infections.

A day before, the People's Committee Office of District 7 had to suspend operations when a female staff member was found infected after two of her family members were confirmed positive at a local hospital. The trio’s source of transmission has not been identified.

The office has since resumed operations but prohibited face-to-face activities, having switched to online and post office services. Another state office stands a mere 100 meters away.

On late Thursday night, the headquarter of the city's Fire Fighting and Prevention Police Department was shut down after a male staff member contracted the virus.

Among medical facilities, Trung Vuong Hospital in District 10 became the eighth of its kind in HCMC hit by Covid-19 in this wave, with a 36-year-old male nurse reported infected on Friday.

Earlier on the same day, District 4 and District 10 hospitals were also hit after patients were found positive.

HCMC University Medical Center in District 5 has been locked down after at least two employees tested positive for Covid-19 on Wednesday morning.

A 33-year-old medic at a Binh Tan District medical center was confirmed infected on Tuesday. She had joined the frontline force to collect samples from isolated areas for coronavirus mass testing over the past few weeks.

On June 13, the Medic Medical Center of Hoa Hao Hospital in District 10 had to stop operations after two patients were confirmed Covid-19 cases. The center only resumed operations on June 3 after it was locked down in May for receiving people who were later confirmed with Covid-19.

The HCMC Hospital for Tropical Diseases in District 5, the city’s frontline facility in the Covid-19 fight, has been under lockdown since June 12 after emerging as a coronavirus hotspot. At least 55 of its employees have been infected. Seven of their close contacts have also been diagnosed with Covid, and one of them is a staff of Gia Dinh Hospital in Binh Thanh District.

The city's Center for Disease Control has warned citizens to stay on high alert since anyone could be a source of transmission.

The city extended its two-week social distancing period by another two weeks on Tuesday.

Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Truong Son said the extended period would help stall the disease long enough to limit Covid-19 spread in the community if everyone abides by social distancing measures.

The city on Saturday morning launched a vaccination campaign against Covid-19, the biggest in the city and the nation's history. It plans to administer 836,000 doses of the AstraZeneca's vaccine in five to seven days.

They are part of a batch provided by Japan on Wednesday.

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