As COVID-19 infections in Vietnam’s business hub Ho Chi Minh City are surging again, people should be on high alert and strictly comply with epidemic prevention measures, the chief of the municipal administration has warned.
Ho Chi Minh City chairman Phan Van Mai made the statement while talking to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on the sidelines of the National Assembly session on Friday, as the daily number of coronavirus infections has been rising in both the city and the country as a whole.
The city documented 1,185 cases on Thursday compared to 682 on November 2, according to official figures.
The country’s corresponding figures were 8,162 and 5,637.
Given that both Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh City have reopened in ‘new normal conditions,’ a euphemism for living safely with the coronavirus, such a rise has previously been forecast, Mai said.
The restoration of social and economic operations has led to more interactions and travels than when stringent movement curbs were applied before October, the chairman explained.
Vietnam has gradually relaxed COVID-19 restrictions and reopened the economy since October 1 given a drop in infections and deaths, thanks partly to larger vaccine coverage.
Agencies concerned are weekly following up epidemic developments and authorities will reinstate restrictions when necessary to cope with the actual situation, chairman Mai said.
He added that Ho Chi Minh City will hold a memorial service, possibly at the Reunification Hall in District 1, for people who died of COVID-19, stopping short of giving a specific date.
Early next week, Mai said the city will continue COVID-19 testing, likely at a rate of four samples per 1,000 residents, focusing on people at medical facilities, infection clusters, and populous areas, as well as those coming from epidemic-hit localities.
At such a testing rate, the city of around 10 million people must screen at least 6,000 samples every day, he elaborated.
The chairman also said the city will speed up the provision of medications for COVID-19 patients being treated at home to prevent their conditions from worsening.
Mobile medical stations and grassroots medical networks will be strengthened and quick response teams will be sent to areas where COVID-19 hot spots emerge.
Based on the central government’s resolution on flexible and safe adaptation to COVID-19 as well as effective control over the pandemic, the Ho Chi Minh City administration is expected to apply next Monday four reopening levels to each part of the city, depending on actual epidemic developments, the city’s chief said.
Levels 1 and 2 will mean the reopening rates of 100 percent and 75 percent while level 3 represents 50 percent and level 4 is for 25 percent or suspension.
Since the pandemic hit Vietnam in early 2020, Ho Chi Minh City has documented 440,918 COVID-19 cases and 17,057 deaths, the Ministry of Health reported.
Nationwide, a total of 1,000,897 infections, including 845,948 recoveries and 22,849 fatalities, have been recorded.
The country’s COVID-19 death toll has sharply dropped recently, to 84 on Thursday from 217 two months earlier, while the corresponding figures for the city were 38 and 188, according to the ministry’s data.