Rising cases of COVID-19 infections have prompted the municipal People’s Committee on March 4 to issue an urgent document on measures to combat the pandemic.

Relevant authorities across districts and Thu Duc city are required to strictly implement Resolution 128 on safe, flexible adaptation and effective control of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Medical staffs in Phu Nhuan District’s Ward 7 prepares medicine for infected cases undergoing home treatment.

Since it is forecasted that more infection chains will be recorded in HCM City, business establishments and schools should take immediate actions to curb the spread of COVID-19 among their communities.

Vaccination progress against COVID-19 has to be accelerated while necessary resources need to be prepared for vaccination for children aged 5 to 11 years old in the near future.

All districts and Thu Duc city authorities should check storage, transport and other facilities as well as human resources needed to ensure safety vaccination protocols are followed, Tang Chi Thuong, Director of the city's Department of Health, said at a press conference late last week.

The city has recorded more than 19,000 COVID-19 cases in 306 schools this week, 97 percent of them children under 12.

Thuong said the positivity rate for COVID-19 in schools was 2.3 percent, and all of children had no or mild symptoms.

Meanwhile, the city has seen a recent surge in daily cases, with 4-5 patients requiring invasive mechanical ventilation every day. All the serious cases are either elderly people or those with comorbidities.

Thuong expressed concern that the increase in severely ill patients would lead to a rise in fatalities over the next two or three weeks.

He said the city has sought the health ministry’s approval to distribute and sell molnupiravir to patients having prescription from doctors, while waiting for official guidelines on prescribing and distributing the medicine.

Duong Anh Duc, Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, has asked all districts and Thu Duc city to take strong measures to reduce the number of COVID-19 cases, and ensure sufficient supply of medicines and medical equipment.

He has also asked the health department to try to protect people in high-risk groups, and the education and training department to ensure safe direct learning at schools.

Localities need to improve the health system’s capacity; strengthen inspection of pandemic prevention and control at production facilities, supermarkets, markets, railway stations and bus stations among other crowded places; and strictly handle violations of COVID-19 prevention and control.

The HCM City Department of Health is responsible for comprehensive treatment and sufficient supply of medical equipment and drugs. Minimizing the number of deaths is the top priority.

The HCM City’s Department of Information and Communications is required to coordinate with the Department of Health to raise locals’ awareness on COVID-19 prevention and control.

Locals are not advised to gather or go to crowded places when it is not necessary.

The city had 222 wards and communes classified as low-risk, 77 as medium-risk, and 13 as high-risk zones the previous week (February 21-27).

Under the People’s Committee’s Decision No 3900 issued in November 2021, karaoke parlors, discotheques and bars in high-risk zones have to close in high-risk zones.

Religious activities, weddings, funerals and cultural activities in the 13 high-risk zones must limit the number of participants, while massage and beauty parlors must restrict their activities to 25 per cent of their capacity.

Source: VNA