Ho Chi Minh City authorities have ordered local police to re-establish 12 checkpoints at the city’s gateways to beef up coronavirus spread containment.
Accordingly, these checkpoints will begin operating at 0:00 am on May 15 at the city’s entrances.
The municipal government established 62 similar checkpoints in April 2020 when Vietnam faced a serious epidemic outbreak and dismantled them three weeks later, when the virus had been kept at bay.
The order was first given at a meeting convened on Monday by local authorities to discuss measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus, which has affected 664 people in 26 provinces and cities since April 27, of which one case was logged in Ho Chi Minh City.
Each of these checkpoints will have four traffic police officers on duty around the clock, Lieutenant Colonel Nguyen Van Binh, deputy head of the road and railway police unit under the city’s public security department, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Thursday.
These officers will join hands with other staff of the checkpoints including mobile policemen, traffic inspectors, and health workers, Binh said.
The checkpoints will make medical inspection of vehicles, carry out body temperature measurement for people entering the city, and collect medical declarations from them, among other tasks, the official said.
During peak hours, random checks of vehicles will be conducted, but at other times, all means of transport will be inspected, he added.
At Monday's meeting, the city’s administration also ordered authorities of all levels to boost their efforts to prevent the COVID-19 spread in the spirit of “fighting the epidemic like fighting enemies.”
The municipal Department of Health must direct all hospitals to conduct regular medical screening for their medical staff and patients, and take all necessary measures to prevent virus transmission within hospitals.
Violators of regulations and directives on epidemic prevention and control will be subject to strict punishments, even criminal proceedings depending on violation levels, the local government said.
Health authorities are required to put together testing teams capable of taking 50,000 samples every day, and to establish more centralized quarantine facilities to ensure the city can provide over 10,000 beds for COVID-19 patients when necessary.
The health sector must make backup plans for treating up to 500 COVID-19 patients at a time, and build a 5,000-bed makeshift hospital to prepare for a scenario of 30,000 infections.
It also required everyone to proactively protect their own health as well as public health, and strictly comply with the health ministry’s 5K recommendations, namely 'Khau trang' (face mask donning) – 'Khu khuan' (disinfection) – 'Khoang cach' (distancing) – 'Khong tu tap' (no gathering) – 'Khai bao y te' (health declaration).
At noon on Thursday, the Ministry of Health reported 21 local coronavirus cases, all of which were detected in isolated areas, taking the country’s tally to 3,679 patients, including 2,636 recoveries and 35 deaths.
Since April 27, Vietnam has recorded 664 domestic cases in 26 provinces and cities, according to the ministry's data.