HCMC embarks on hectic coronavirus testing campaign

By Ha An   July 1, 2021 | 04:00 pm GMT+7
HCMC embarks on hectic coronavirus testing campaign
Laborers at Thu Duc wholesale market in HCMC gather for the mass coronavirus test, June 30, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Ha An.
Medical forces in HCMC are rushing to collect five million samples in 10 days to detect any possible community Covid cases.

To fulfill its target, 1,000 medical teams have toiled overnight to collect samples across all 21 districts and Thu Duc City since June 26.

On Wednesday night alone, more than 5,000 manual workers, vendors and drivers had gathered at Thu Duc wholesale market to have their nose swabs taken.

Le Huu Hao, chairman of Tam Binh Ward of Thu Duc, said as a wholesale market it normally gathers as many as 5,000-7,000 people at once, making it a priority for the testing campaign.

On Wednesday morning, thousands of people attended Nguyen Trai Secondary School in Hoa Thanh Ward of Tan Phu District for the test.

Phan Kim Anh said it took less than 10 seconds to collect one sample but since too many people had shown up at once, the entire process for her and her two daughters had lasted around half an hour.

Hoa Thanh Ward will collect around 12,000 samples at different timelines and venues, said Luong Thuy Thanh Van, the ward’s chairwoman.

In District 8, 21,000 people of Ward 9 had been summoned to seven venues on Tuesday night where 150 medics took their samples.

June 29, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Ha An

People gather at a kindergarten in District 8, HCMC, to have their samples taken for the new coronavirus test, June 29, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Ha An.

HCMC’s Center for Disease Control (HCDC) said earlier it aims to collect around 500,000 samples a day to screen, detect infections and avoid potential outbreak risks in the community.

The municipal Health Department has on Thursday called hospitals and medical schools in town to send over 4,000 personnel and students to run the testing campaign in residential areas and industrial zones in coming days.

The department said currently, for every 10,000 samples to be taken in four hours, it needs a team of 90 people, including 30 medics who get the sample and 60 who take care of related tasks.

The exercise comes at a time when Ho Chi Minh City is in the grip of the worst Covid-19 community outbreak ever.

Since April 27, when a new Covid-19 wave hit Vietnam, the southern metropolis has recorded more than 4,100 cases and for days, has repeatedly detected new cases with unidentified sources of transmission.

For its ongoing large-scale testing campaign, the city has focused on high-risk areas in five districts of 8, Binh Tan, Tan Phu, Binh Chanh and Hoc Mon.

From now until July 5, medics will collect samples of people in Thu Duc City and all remaining districts.

Phan Thanh Tam, deputy chairman of the HCDC, said aside from 3,000 medical workers, the city has asked 6,000 medical students to join the campaign.

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