Cross infections in isolated areas remain possible: HCMC chairman

By Huu Cong   July 15, 2021 | 11:05 pm PT
Cross infections in isolated areas remain possible: HCMC chairman
A staff disinfects a room at a university dormitory that is used as a centralized quarantine facility in HCMC's Thu Duc District, May 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa.
With Covid-19 cases on the rise in quarantine zones and blockaded areas, the HCMC administration has said cross infections should be taken seriously.

"A majority of new cases recorded in the city in recent days are all in isolated areas. We have to frankly admit it doesn't preclude the possibility of cross infections there," chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong told a meeting Thursday.

He continued to say a survey has showed "3 to 8 percent of cases detected in isolated areas are caused by cross infections and the rest by long periods of incubation."

"What to be done next is reduce the number of infections in quarantine zones and areas under lockdown," Phong summarized the situation in Ho Chi Minh City after one week of social distancing under Directive 16, during which no one is allowed to leave home other than to buy food, seek medical treatment and work for companies still allowed to operate.

HCMC is now the epicenter of Vietnam’s ongoing Covid-19 wave. By Friday morning, it has recorded more than 22,500 community infections and 130 deaths since the wave started in late April.

The city currently hosts 14,500 people identified as having direct contact with Covid-19 patients in centralized quarantine facilities, and has more than 37,000 others isolated at home.

Across the city, 1,528 areas have been placed under lockdown as of July 12, according to the city’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

At the meeting, Phong assigned the Department of Information and Communications to assess the risk and possibility of cross infection in isolated areas.

He requested strict management in those areas to absolutely prevent cross infections and ordered district authorities to not set up centralized quarantine camps if they cannot ensure epidemic prevention and sanitary facilities like toilets and washrooms.

As for areas under lockdown in the community, Phong requested task forces to households have no direct contact with one another.

The entire city was put under a 15-day social distancing on July 9.

For the next seven days, the city will continue to use mass testing to "isolate all possible Covid-19 cases from the community," the meeting heard.

Until now, the city has vaccinated 991,872 people after four campaigns, with 48,275 having received two doses.

It is expected to launch the fifth campaign next week, using 930,000 doses of AstraZeneca, Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.

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