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HCM City stops all non-essential activities during Tet holidays

Chairman of the People's Committee of Ho Chi Minh City Phan Van Mai emphasized stopping all non-essential activities with large gatherings during the incoming Lunar New Year holiday in light of Covid-19.

At the meeting. -- Photo: SGGP

He made the statement at yesterday's meeting convened by the Ho Chi Minh City Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control and Economic Recovery with localities on epidemic prevention and control in the city.

As Tet holiday (the Lunar New Year) is approaching, he ensured that city dwellers will be safe and filled with joy during the country’s biggest holidays.

At the same time, the city focuses on taking care of civil servants, social welfare beneficiaries, poor households, near-poor households to ensure security, social order, and safety before, during, and after the 2022 Lunar New Year.

Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee Nguyen Van Nen emphasized two positive signs in the first week of 2022 including decreased number of infection cases, severe cases, and deaths in the city.

Plus, the social-economic recovery index is increasing steadily across all sectors. Localities are ready to implement targets as planned.

Currently, the Covid-19 epidemic is complicated, the Omicron variant has appeared in 141 countries and territories. The Omicron Covid variant has been found to multiply about 70 times quicker than the original and Delta versions of coronavirus. The southern metropolis also recorded 11 new cases of the variant.

Facing this situation, Mr. Nen directed, first of all, to pay attention to vaccine coverage, focusing on completing vaccination for all high-risk people. He praised those who proposed protecting people in at-risk groups.

Party Chief Nen emphasized ensuring personnel for mobile medical stations, especially in the context that the army is preparing to withdraw its forces at 200 mobile medical stations in Ho Chi Minh City.

The 2022 Lunar New Year is approaching and Ho Chi Minh City is preparing to welcome international tourists and Vietnamese people in overseas who come back to celebrate the new year.

According to Party Secretary Nguyen Van Nen, it is necessary to prepare a plan to welcome visitors; therefore, the health sector needs to consider reasonable isolation.

Speaking at the briefing, Chairman Mai also said that after the epidemic situation is under control, the city has seen a positive social-economic recovery.

Regarding the key tasks in the coming time, Chairman Mai directed to continue to review and strengthen the health strategy with six components including completion of the additional and booster vaccination for people aged 18 years and over in January 2022.

Responding to the new variant of Omicron, the health sector needs to coordinate with responsible agencies to closely monitor at border gates. Moreover, the sector should guide administrations in localities, communes, and wards to closely monitor and supervise people entering the country.

Additionally, the sector also has to consider oxygen demand, ensuring a stable oxygen source for situations.

The city will continue the second phase of the campaign to protect people at risk, localities need to organize a third screening test for people over 65 years old at risk.

Along with that, from February 2022, the city will update the risk group including people over 50 years old, people with underlying diseases, pregnant women, and people over 18 years old who have not been vaccinated.

Chairman Mai requested localities to strengthen local medical facilities as well as take heed of private medical facilities and pharmacies for caring for someone with Covid-19 at home, participation in disease prevention. Local healthcare clinics need to continue to take care of Covid-19 people with mild symptoms at home, helping to reduce overloading in large hospitals.

Mr. Phan Van Mai assigned Vice Chairman of the People's Committee of Ho Chi Minh City Duong Anh Duc to formulate a policy for improvement of grassroots medical capacity to submit to the municipal People's Council.

When it comes to propaganda work, Mr. Mai noted that administrators in Thu Duc City, districts, and wards must not neglect the fight against the epidemic though it has subsided while the city has resumed economic activities.

Previously, Director of the HCMC Department of Health Tang Chi Thuong informed that the Covid-19 epidemic situation in the city was decreasing markedly, with all districts having a decrease in the number of new cases compared to the previous week.

As of January 6, HCMC is treating more than 42,000 patients infected with Covid-19, including 316 ventilators. The number of deaths continued to decrease; for instance, 21 people died of Covid-19 on January 6.

In respect of the campaign to protect people in the at-risk group, Associate Professor Dr. Tang Chi Thuong said that healthcare workers have spent a month going to every houses in all alleys making a list of 637,806 people in the risk group. Of 637,806 people, more than 25,000 people have not been vaccinated.

The city has also inoculated nearly 13,900 people, accounting for nearly 55 percent of those who have not been vaccinated.

Through screening and testing of people in risk groups, it was discovered that 5,402 people were infected with Covid-19 without knowing it.

Regarding the monitoring of people arriving in Vietnam, according to regulations, they must undergo a test at the airport from January 1. More than 1,000 people undergo rapid test cases with negative results, 13 positive cases, including 11 cases of Omicron variant.

The Department of Health proposed to allow private healthcare workers to participate in paid rapid testing at the airport. The Department of Health is responsible for treating positive cases according to regulations.

Source: Sai Gon Giai Phong

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