Military units to remain in HCMC after Covid restrictions lifted

By Trung Son   September 29, 2021 | 10:09 pm PT
Military units to remain in HCMC after Covid restrictions lifted
A military officer interacts with two men at a Covid-19 checkpoint in HCMC's Binh Thanh District, August 30, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
Military personnel will remain in HCMC after it ends most Covid-19 restrictions on Thursday, gradually handing back pandemic prevention tasks to local authorities.

At a meeting Wednesday with the Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control and military officials in Ho Chi Minh City and the southern region, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam said the outbreak has been gradually brought under control in the last two months, enabling the easing of restrictions.

While the city prepares to reopen and relax restrictions from October 1, prevention protocols would still be in place since not all areas have completed vaccination yet or have Covid drugs, he said.

So military personnel could not be withdrawn yet from Ho Chi Minh City and some other places, but as circumstances change they could gradually hand back some of the tasks to local authorities like performing Covid-19 tests and buying daily essentials for the public, he said.

The flow of people moving from the city to other localities would still need to be monitored, he pointed out.

Deputy Minister of Defense Vo Minh Luong said as the city relaxes its coronavirus restrictions, public management would become trickier.

Military personnel need to stay back and continue to raise public awareness of Covid-19 prevention requirements, he said.

Troop numbers will remain unchanged in high-risk locations but will be reduced in low-risk areas.

Military medics will also be retained based on the coronavirus situation and medical capabilities available in each location.

In late August, around 132,000 soldiers and militias were dispatched to Ho Chi Minh City, according to Do Thanh Phong, deputy head of the propaganda department in the army’s general political department.

The epicenter of the wave has had 380,870 Covid cases so far and over 14,600 deaths.

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