HCMC Covid-19 situation under control: Deputy PM

By Viet Tuan, Le Nga   December 7, 2020 | 08:04 am PT
HCMC Covid-19 situation under control: Deputy PM
Two doctors in protective gear stand outside Cu Chi field hospital in HCMC's Cu Chi District, February 10, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
The Covid-19 situation in HCMC is "basically under control" after the recent community transmissions, Deputy PM Vu Duc Dam said Monday evening.

At a meeting of the National Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control, Dam praised the Ministry of Health and Ho Chi Minh City's efforts in successfully contact tracing all F1 and F2 (possible first and second generation infectees) to get them tested for the novel coronavirus within 48 hours of the local community transmission cases being announced and isolate them.

"This marks great progress in our ability to stamp out the outbreak. However, from the infections in Ho Chi Minh City, it is necessary to carefully consider and analyze the cause to design practical and effective solutions and to avoid similar circumstances from occurring," he said.

HCMC has gone five days without recording any new infections related to the four most recent community transmissions triggered by a Vietnam Airlines flight attendant, "Patient 1342." The flight attendant had violated his quarantine regulations and infected a teacher friend, who then spread the virus to at least two others.

Dam asked all agencies to continue tightening prevention measures, especially during the winter season and upcoming New Year holidays.

"We have identified that the major risk sources of the virus are immigrants (legal and illegal), local communities and food imported from pandemic-stricken countries," Dam said.

The nation should continue tightening anti-pandemic efforts on flights while welcoming foreign experts and Vietnamese citizens home, he said, adding that preventive measures must be applied as they are done in hospitals and all violations strictly dealt with.

Experts and members of the steering committee also emphasized the requirement to strictly comply with the 14-day quarantine mandatory for foreigners.

Quarantining at home must only be allowed in places that meet medical requirements and basically should not take place in apartment complexes, they said.

Private houses serving to quarantine people should have signs and notices for people living nearby. Local authorities must know the number of people subject to medical supervision in the area and check on the situation at least once a day, they added.

The health ministry announced Monday evening that a citizen returning from Russia was Vietnam's latest Covid-19 patient. "Patient 1367", a 29-year-old woman, is being treated at the Da Nang Lung Hospital in the central city after test results showed Sunday that she was positive for the novel coronavirus.

Vietnam’s current Covid-19 tally stands at 1,367 with 105 active cases, 1,224 recoveries and 35 deaths. Four of the recoveries were announced Monday evening.

Meanwhile, the Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology JSC has said it would recruit volunteers to enter clinical trials for its Covid-19 vaccine starting Thursday. A Vietnamese Covid-19 vaccine might be distributed in May next year following six months of clinical trials, the company said.

The health ministry had earlier assessed Nanogen’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate among the most promising, having been successfully produced on a laboratory scale and provoked immunogenicity during animal testing.

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