No more than 150 infections, HCMC chairman sets Covid-19 target

By Manh Tung   March 29, 2020 | 06:09 am PT
No more than 150 infections, HCMC chairman sets Covid-19 target
A customer buying hand sanitizer at a supermarket in Saigon on March 26, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
HCMC has prepared to cope with different scenarios and targets limiting its Covid-19 cases to below 150, city Chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong said Sunday.

All facilities are ready to meet quarantine and treatment requirements in the worst case Covid-19 scenario, Phong said at a meeting with the National Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control. He did not specify what the scenario was.

Ho Chi Minh City currently has 36 quarantine camps with 12,000 beds and will add more areas to increase capacity to 24,000 beds. The city has four intensive care facilities for treating Covid-19 patients with 2,300 beds and 47 hospitals that can accept patients with more than 700 beds.

The city had also equipped itself with 10,000 high-sensitivity test kits, seven million medical masks and 40 million cloth masks.

Phong said that among 46 Covid-19 infections in the city, 32 cases were infected from abroad and the rest contracted the virus within the community.

To deal with the possibility of infection from foreign tourists from other localities, Phong has proposed that Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc asks the Transport Ministry to minimize domestic flights to and from the Tan Son Nhat International Airport and only approve a few essential flights.

He said flight crew of domestic and international carriers should not be allowed to stay in apartments but in temporary accommodations. During their stay, flight crew should not be allowed to leave the location and must inform local authorities of their presence for supervision.

Earlier, a 43-year-old British pilot with Vietnam Airlines was confirmed positive for the coronavirus. He had attended a party at the Buddha Bar and Grill in Saigon's District 2 on the night of March 14. Of more than 200 that people attended the event, 13 have contracted the virus so far.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc praised HCMC for taking drastic actions to contain the pandemic and suggested that authorities in other provinces follow HCMC and Hanoi in sanctioning people who do not wear masks in public places. "The next 15 days will decide the success or defeat of the war against Covid-19," he said.

Nine latest Covid-19 patients confirmed Sunday evening, including one reporter and two related to Hanoi's Bach Mai Hospital, have taken Vietnam's total to 188 infections. Of these, 25 have recovered and been discharged from hospitals.

The Covid-19 pandemic has killed more than 31,700 people in 199 countries and territories.

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