More coronavirus cases expected in HCMC as tests increase

By Huu Cong   August 24, 2021 | 03:00 am PT
More coronavirus cases expected in HCMC as tests increase
Mobile military medical forces on the streets of HCMC's Binh Thanh District to collect samples for Covid-19 testing, August 23, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
More coronavirus cases should be expected in HCMC in the coming days as the city ramps up mass Covid-19 testing, the municipal Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control warned.

Pham Duc Hai, deputy head of the committee, on Monday said city authorities previously planned to collect samples for Covid-19 testing in all areas deemed relatively safe from the coronavirus, while high-risk areas would have their samples collected only in locked down locations. But the plan has recently been switched to testing the entire population of the city under the direction of Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, Hai said.

"As we're collecting more samples, the number of coronavirus cases is expected to rise in the coming days," he said, adding those with severe symptoms or underlying conditions should be placed inside quarantine camps.

People have also been abiding by the city's latest coronavirus restriction measures, with the number of motorbikes on the streets Monday reduced from the day before by 85 percent.

From Aug. 23 to Sept. 6, Ho Chi Minh City imposed a stricter social distancing order where people are required to "stay where they are," effectively banning them from going out. Military forces and local authorities would be in charge of delivering supplies to people's doorsteps, including food and medicine.

Sick people who wish to go to the hospital, but not infected with Covid-19, could be transferred by certain taxi services. The city has allowed 500 taxis to operate during the social distancing period. Those with Covid-19 and whose conditions are turning severe may also be transported to hospital via 260 taxis from a separate company.

HCMC, epicenter of Vietnam's fourth coronavirus outbreak since late April, has recorded 180,245 local Covid-19 cases so far in the new wave.

The city has undergone a series of social distancing periods, with the latest extended until Sept. 15.

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