HCMC bids to contain Covid outbreak in two phases

By Huu Cong   August 15, 2021 | 12:12 am PT
HCMC will continue social distancing, try to reduce the fatality rate and vaccinate 70 percent of people over 18 years old to contain the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak.

At a Sunday morning meeting hosted by PM Pham Minh Chinh, municipal Chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong said the city plans to contain the pandemic by September 15 in two phases.

In the first phase, from August 15 to 31, the city will try to reduce the Covid-19 death rate, expand infection free areas and put the outbreak under control in districts Can Gio, Nha Be, Cu Chi, Phu Nhuan, 5, 7, and 11.

In the next phase, from September 1 to 15, the city will strive to reduce the death rate among critically ill patients by 20 percent, and to ensure that the number of daily new hospitalizations do not exceed the number of discharged people.

Phong also said that in the second phase, the number of new hospitalizations will not exceed 2,000 per day, 70 percent of the population over 18 years old will get their first dose of Covid-19 vaccine, and 15 percent will be fully vaccinated.

The downtown area of Ho Chi Minh City on July 9, when the city began 15 days of stringent social distancing measures to curb Covid-19. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa.

The downtown area of Ho Chi Minh City on July 9, 2021, when the city began 15 days of stringent social distancing measures to curb Covid-19. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa

To meet these goals, HCMC will continue its current social distancing campaign, he said.

The city will also allow Covid-19 patients to be treated at home, with support from local authorities and doctors.

Local firms can maintain their production with Covid prevention measures like allowing workers to live on the site, picking them up and taking them home directly without stopping in between.

Phong said the city has seen some positive signs after imposing the social distancing campaign under Directive 16 for more than a month.

The current social distancing order under Directive 16 requires people to stay home and only go out for basic necessities like buying food or medicines or to work at factories or businesses allowed to operate.

People must keep a distance of at least two meters. No more than two people can gather together in public apart from work, schools or hospitals. The majority of public transportation will be shut down and there will be no travel between localities.

There has been no new cluster, while the numbers of daily new Covid patients have not gone up. In the last 13 days (August 2 to 15), the average number of new patients every day is 3,830, an 18 percent decrease in comparison with the previous 13 days (July 20 to August 1).

On average, 2,500 people are being discharged every day, taking the total number of recovered patients to 70,727.

The number of vehicles on the streets has decreased by 75 percent, the infection rate in locked down areas have gone down to 57 percent (in early August, the infection rate in locked down areas was 80 percent).

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam's economic powerhouse, has become the epicenter of the fourth coronavirus wave which struck the nation in late April. It has recorded 144,770 local cases so far, the highest in the country. The southern metropolis has gone through multiple consecutive social distancing orders, with the latest one to be extended for a month starting August 15.

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