HCMC evacuates 2,000 residents from high risk Covid areas

By Dinh Van   August 26, 2021 | 04:34 pm PT
HCMC evacuates 2,000 residents from high risk Covid areas
69-year-old Tran Sam (front) is taken to a three-bedroom apartment in the Cong Doan hotel in HCMC's Binh Thanh District on August 26, 2021. She would stay with two other families. Photo by VnExpress/Dinh Van
Around 2,000 people in HCMC's Binh Thanh District are being evacuated from apartment complexes with high numbers of Covid-19 cases.

This is being done in a bid to prevent further spread of the virus, officials said.

At 3 a.m. Thursday, over 70 people rode motorbikes with their luggage to the Cong Doan Hotel in Ward 27. Led by the police, the group consisted of students, the elderly, people with underlying conditions and workers living in apartment complexes that have recorded several Covid-19 cases.

Officials said all 79 rooms at the 5-storied hotel capable of hosting around 800 people have been reserved for the evacuees.

Tran Sam, 69, said she and her daughter were glad to be able to move away from their locked down apartment on Ung Van Khiem Street.

"The apartment complex has 20 units and more than half its residents have been infected by the coronavirus. Our landlady succumbed to Covid-19, so I've been worried all the time," she said.

Truc My, 33, was accommodated in a room with a bed and a wardrobe so she could take care of her two small children, aged two and nine. Her husband works as a driver in Binh Duong and hasn’t been able to return home for the past two months, so My has had to take care of the kids on her own.

The family had been confined to their old apartment room for the past several weeks as the coronavirus had got to all their neighbors.

About three kilometers away, an apartment complex on Phan Chu Trinh Street is also hosting nearly 180 people from high-risk areas of Binh Thanh.

Nguyen Van Canh, head of the Commission for Mass Mobilization of Binh Thanh District, said over 500 students, workers and elderly people were evacuated from their residences Thursday and moved to the Cong Doan hotel and the apartment complex on Phan Chu Trinh. They will stay there for the next 22 days. All of them had to test negative for the virus before moving into their new temporary accommodation.

"The first day, people have to take care of their own meals. Starting tomorrow, they will be provided with food so they can cook by themselves," said Canh, adding that the district would prepare a school as the next refuge, increasing the total capacity to 2,000 people.

Dinh Khac Huy, Chairman of the Binh Thanh People's Committee, said the district was the first in Ho Chi Minh City to evacuate non-infected people from high-risk areas. After 22 days, when the outbreak was under control, they would be allowed to return home, he said.

Binh Thanh has so far recorded around 11,700 Covid-19 cases out of the city's 194,100. It is considered a high-risk area, with several clusters being detected recently.

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