HCMC mulls use of resettlement houses for Covid quarantine

By Huu Cong   July 2, 2021 | 09:00 pm PT
HCMC mulls use of resettlement houses for Covid quarantine
A centralized quarantine camp in HCMC, May 25, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa.
The HCMC government has instructed related agencies to consider using apartments intended to resettle various groups of people as Covid-19 quarantine facilities.

"The city has a lot of resettlement houses that are not occupied and they can accommodate up to 5,000 people," city chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong said at a meeting Friday.

Vice chairman Le Hoa Binh and the departments of Natural Resources and Environment and Construction have been entrusted with construction of the plan.

Phong said a review of the existing 14 quarantine facilities has found that some are "not safe enough" to contain the spread of Covid.

The administration warned district authorities against using schools for quarantine due to the lack of restrooms, which poses a high risk of infection spread since many people have to use each of them.

HCMC is facing the most challenging Covid outbreak ever.

On Saturday it entered a 33rd day of social distancing while many residential areas have been locked down.

It is the second worst hit of all localities in Vietnam in the ongoing Covid wave that broke out on April 27, with 4,938 cases, second after only the northern Bac Giang Province's 5,710.

It has 13,429 people in quarantine and 30,426 others self-isolated at home.

Between June 19 and 30 every day it recorded 65 cases with unknown sources of transmission, including around 35 being diagnosed only on visiting hospitals for other health problems.

The World Health Organization has warned that the Delta variant is much more transmissible and less immune to vaccines developed so far, Phong said.

The Ministry of Health last week urged the city to trial 28-day home quarantine with stringent safety protocols for people coming into contact with patients.

Due to the rapid and wide spread of the infection, the city’s quarantine facilities are beginning to be overloaded, and so people living in villas and townhouses could be quarantined at home, it said.

But the city remains keen on using centralized facilities.

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