Military to oversee food provision in HCMC during lockdown: PM

By Viet Tuan   August 20, 2021 | 03:56 am PT
Military to oversee food provision in HCMC during lockdown: PM
A military officer checks the travel paper of a truck at a Covid-19 checkpoint in HCMC. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
The military will coordinate with local authorities and other agencies to ensure food supply for HCMC residents during its social distancing period, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh said Thursday.

He said people must "stay where they are" and abide by coronavirus control measures. Authorities also need to ensure food supply and needed welfare for the people while ramping up Covid-19 tests to isolate cases from the community.

If there's a lack of personnel to ensure social distancing measures, the police and military may lend a hand if needed, the PM said.

The military in particular would be responsible for ensuring food supply for the people, cooperating with local authorities and other forces, he added.

The police need to monitor the situation to maintain order, and facilitate food supply for the homeless and other vulnerable people.

Reinforcements would be deployed to boost medical capabilities in the city, ensuring sufficient supply of oxygen tanks, medical equipment and health workers.

The PM has also asked authorities to look into the possibility of relocating people away from certain areas to reduce population density within a given area. Military camps, schools and other facilities could be used for such relocations, he suggested.

Around 200 special teams would be formed to ensure compliance with social distancing measures as well as sufficient food supply for HCMC residents.

HCMC is set to further tighten coronavirus restrictions starting August 23, requiring people to "stay where they are" as the Covid-19 threat persists, according to the Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control.

Specific details about who are allowed to go out as well as how people can access food and other essentials will be announced once the plan is completed, said Phan Nguyen Nhu Khue, head of the Propaganda Department of the municipal Party Committee.

HCMC, epicenter of Vietnam's fourth coronavirus wave, has so far recorded 167,717 local cases and 5,939 deaths.

The city of 13 million has undergone a series of social distancing orders, with the latest one being extended until September 15. People are also banned from going out between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. the next day, except for certain cases like medical emergencies.

The government has said it wants HCMC to get the coronavirus situation under control by September 15.

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