The numbers of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Ho Chi Minh City have been on the rise during the past few weeks, deputy director of the municipal Department of Health Nguyen Van Vinh Chau said at a meeting on Thursday.
Ho Chi Minh City is currently classified as a medium-risk locality, according to the health official.
However, the number of infections has increased over the past couple of weeks, leading to a surge in hospitalized patients.
Chau also attributed the spike in COVID-19 hospitalizations to district-level quarantine facilities being shut down, which forced patients with underlying conditions to continue their treatment at grassroots-level hospitals.
Although Ho Chi Minh City has achieved a high vaccination rate, many people who have returned to the metropolis from their hometowns are not yet vaccinated.
With the reopening of services throughout the city, people tend to come into contact with one another more often, thus posing more risks.
If prevention and control measures are not properly implemented, the pandemic may re-escalate, Chau warned.
According to a survey released by the health department, most of the newly-detected cases are unvaccinated residents.
Among the hospitalized patients, 14 percent have not been inoculated, the health official continued, adding that most of these unvaccinated patients are under 18 years old.
|Pham Duc Hai, deputy head of the Ho Chi Minh City steering committee for COVID-19 prevention and control, speaks at a meeting on November 4, 2021. Photo: Thao Le / Tuoi Tre|
Chau stressed that people must not let their guard down even though they have been immunized, noting that prevention measures should be strictly followed.
According to Pham Duc Hai, deputy head of the municipal steering committee for COVID-19 prevention and control, the city’s COVID-19 hospitalizations on November 1, 2, and 3 were 989, 1,025, and 941, respectively.
The number of COVID-19 fatalities rose from 21 on October 31 to 40 on November 2.
“Such statistics show that the pandemic is still serious," Hai said.
Many residents have been disregarding recommendations from health authorities to wear face masks in public and avoid gathering in large crowds, the official continued.
Those who fail to comply with pandemic prevention and control regulations will be sternly panelized, he added.
Ho Chi Minh City has been the largest epicenter in the country since the fourth outbreak began on April 27, with over 435,700 local infections and nearly 17,000 deaths.
Health authorities had administered more than 13.5 million vaccine doses as of Thursday, with over 5.7 million out of nine million people in the city fully inoculated.
The city had implemented various levels of social distancing since May 31 before loosening restrictions on October 1 thanks to optimistic results in prevention and control efforts.