HCMC Covid tally might add 40-45 daily cases: health official

By Huu Cong, Thu Anh   June 7, 2021 | 12:06 am PT
HCMC Covid tally might add 40-45 daily cases: health official
Police check people who want to get through a Covid-19 checkpoint in Go Vap District, now the biggest Covid hotspot in HCMC, June 3, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
The new Covid-19 patient count in Ho Chi Minh City is expected to rise by 40-45 cases daily, all within quarantine zones.

The information was announced by Nguyen Tan Binh, director of the municipal Department of Health, at a city meeting Monday.

The city’s health sector estimated the figure after it ran the second tests on people who have had direct contact with Covid-19 patients Sunday.

"Most are in centralized quarantine facilities or areas under isolation and thus could not spread the virus into the community," Binh said.

Since May 26 when a new Covid-19 cluster emerged in a Christian congregation based in Go Vap District, the city had recorded around 370 linked cases in 21 of its 22 districts as of Monday morning.

Tracking down all those related to this cluster, the city has in the past 12 days collected samples from 443,081 people, with 236,555 confirmed negative.

Binh said the congregation cluster has caused many infections of the Indian coronavirus strain, which spreads much faster than others, and that members of the mission had gathered in a closed, small space.

On the other hand, the cluster's first infections had developed symptoms in mid-May, undetected until two weeks later when the first three patients, all members of the mission, had their health checked at a local hospital.

From the first cases, the virus spread strongly in the community as many people who had come into contact with infected members are those working in a closed, air-conditioned environments like office buildings and factories.

So far in the ongoing Covid-19 wave that started on April 27 in Vietnam, HCMC had reported 402 cases related to four clusters.

The city recorded around 50 cases a day in late May but the number has dropped to around 30 on recent days.

Binh said the city had basically determined all infected areas related to those clusters and is still tracking down all those that have had direct contact with confirmed patients.

It has also launched a large-scale testing campaign to test more than 320,000 workers across all export processing zones, industrial parks and high-tech zones.

Last Monday, a social distancing order was imposed across the city for at least two weeks.

"The city has to be more drastic in tracking down all people related to ongoing clusters for isolation and testing to completely put down the outbreak."

Given current developments, the health care sector in HCMC predicted the ongoing outbreak in the city will reach its peak in two to three weeks before it cools down, said Binh.

After the two weeks of social distancing, the city will conduct an overall assessment to take appropriate anti-pandemic measures that could create conditions to restore production and business activities and allow people to resume normal activities.

The city has placed 7,770 people in centralized quarantine while 13,714 others are self-quarantining at home or accommodation facilities.

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