More Covid community cases found as HCMC ups testing: CDC

By Huu Cong, Le Phuong   August 19, 2021 | 11:23 pm PT
More Covid community cases found as HCMC ups testing: CDC
A vendor at Binh Dien market in HCMC's District 8 has her sample taken for the new coronavirus test, July 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
HCMC has recorded more coronavirus infections in the community lately amid upscaled testing.

The larger numbers of coronavirus infections found in the community compared to locked-down areas in recent days have been ascribed to mass testing aimed to isolate all possible Covid-19 patients from residential areas to create more Covid-free areas in the community, said Nguyen Hong Tam, deputy director of the city’s Center for Disease Control (HCDC).

Aside from the city’s testing campaign, many people have conducted self-testing kits now widely available on the market, resulting in more positive cases.

"This is a positive sign because we are on the right path to track down Covid-19 patients so local authorities can manage the situation. We should not be too worried," Tam said at a press conference Thursday.

In the coming days, more community cases should be expected, he said, adding in some areas, people have failed to follow social distancing rules, which could also result in more community infections.

Of the new cases the city recorded Thursday, 3,603, or 82 percent, are in the community. The ratio was 77 percent Wednesday, 72.5 percent Tuesday, and 53 percent Monday.

Previously, most cases reported in the city were in blockaded areas.

Ho Chi Minh City launched a testing campaign Sunday "to accurately assess the epidemic situation" so it could bring the ongoing outbreak under control by Sept. 15 as targeted by the government.

HCMC has for almost two months now been the epicenter of Vietnam’s ongoing Covid-19 wave.

The city has gone 42 days under Directive 16, the strictest social distancing measure in Vietnam. Since July 25, it has also banned people from going out at night.

It has announced to raise the restrictions to another level, banning people from going out from next Monday.

The city has recorded 164,342 cases so far in the wave that emerged in late April, and 5,627 deaths.

The national tally is 308,560 and the death toll, 7,115.

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