Prolonged social distancing will exhaust resources: Dong Nai Party chief

By Phuoc Tuan   August 27, 2021 | 04:38 pm PT
Prolonged social distancing will exhaust resources: Dong Nai Party chief
Bien Hung roundabout, one of the busiest areas in Bien Hoa Town of Dong Nai, is deserted under the province's social distancing order, July 28, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Phuoc Tuan
Dong Nai will go all out to put the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak under control during the social distancing period, but it can take a toll on resources, the province's leader said.

In the ongoing Covid-19 wave, Ho Chi Minh City neighbor Dong Nai detected its first community case on May 3 and has since recorded 21,467, with 196 deaths.

The province, a major industrial hub, now stands third among localities with the most community Covid-19 cases after HCMC and Binh Duong Province, also bordering the city.

Aside from strengthening social distancing measures, Dong Nai implemented a large-scale testing campaign on 2.1 million people, or 57 percent of its population, over 14 days starting last Wednesday.

The aim of mass testing is to detect all possible cases and isolate them from the community to create as many safe zones in the province as possible, Dong Nai’s top official, Secretary of the Party Committee Nguyen Hong Linh, told VnExpress on Friday.

However, the campaign has not finished as planned due to a shortage of medics, which he described as "the biggest difficulty in the province for now."

Medics now have to take care of testing, vaccinating, isolating and treating patients and there are just not enough of them, he stressed.

An industrial hub with 44,000 companies and 1.2 million laborers, Dong Nai has been targeted by the government to put its outbreak under control by Aug. 31, yet "the situation remains complex," he said.

The Provincial Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control is still doing the best it can and if its goal could not be achieved, would prolong the social distancing period since there are still Covid-19 cases in the community, Linh, as head of the committee, commented.

"Prolonged social distancing is the problem we are most worried about. Should that happen, both frontline staff and residents will be impacted and resources exhausted."

"Therefore, the province is making drastic efforts to stamp out the pandemic," Linh said, adding Dong Nai would put on hold several projects that are not urgent to focus all efforts and resources on fighting the ongoing outbreak.

Regarding the healthcare system, Dong Nai is still admitting patients to hospitals and field hospitals for treatment.

If cases jump to between 30,000-40,000, the province would consider letting asymptomatic patients treat themselves at home, but "that would be the last option."

Dong Nai has received over 804,000 Covid-19 vaccines and so far has administered 627,700 doses, inoculating 28 percent of people over 18.

Of all the vaccinated, 58,700 have received two shots.

Dong Nai has been applying Directive 16, the strictest social distancing rule that does not allow anyone to go outside apart from buying food, for medical treatment, and working at agencies that are still open, since July 9.

The province has banned people from going out from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. since July 27.

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