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Covid fight in South Vietnam: Armed forces will take care of food for people
Minh Vu 20:44, 2021/08/20
The stricter restrictions last for two weeks under the shelter-in-place order.

The army and public security will take responsibility for delivering goods to people in Ho Chi Minh City and some most pandemic-hit provinces in the south when the region imposes stricter restrictions in the next days.

Vietnam's Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh at a meeting on August 19. Photos: Nhat Bac/ VGP

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh made the request late Thursday [August 19] when working with the army and health sector to have more effective solutions against the Covid-19 pandemic in Ho Chi Minh City, Binh Duong, Dong Nai, and Long An.

The four aforementioned localities account for 75% of the country’s total caseload.

He asked grassroots police to work with other sectors to provide food to vulnerable groups and the homeless, among others.

Accordingly, Minister of National Defence Phan Van Giang said the army is ready to launch new missions following the PM order and upon request of the authorities of Ho Chi Minh City and southern provinces.

The forces will provide military medics and join the transport and supply of goods to the locals, Giang said.

Deputy Minister of Public Security Nguyen Van Son stated a large number of policemen will be deployed, including police medics in the southern region.

Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long said the sector has trained a large number of health workers in resuscitation and likely sends additional 3,000 health professionals to Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) and southern areas.

 Minister of National Defence Phan Van Giang at the meeting.

Ho Chi Minh City will deploy 200 special teams formed by both soldiers and policemen to monitor the enforcement of restriction rules and deliver foods to households.

In addition, it will set up 400 mobile medical stations to conduct testing and treat Covid-19 patients. At the same time, it will speed up vaccination to achieve the coverage of more than 70% adults aged above 18 by the end of August.

The PM asked HCMC to classify all 312 wards into “green zone” (safe zone), “yellow zone” (high risk), and “red

zone” (hotspot) with an aim to expand the safe zone and narrow the affected areas.

At the meeting, a representative of Binh Duong said the province continues massive testing and prepares for the 100,000-infection scenario. Currently, its cases numbered more than 52,000. It has brought five districts back to new normal except Thuan An City and Tan Uyen Town, the most affected areas.

A representative of Long An said its key pandemic response strategy remains massive testing with rapid antigen kits in combination with pooled RT-PCR testing. It expects to detect all community cases in the next two weeks.

Dong Nai also set target to detect all infections in the community in two weeks. It has mobilized nearly 11,000 military personnel and policemen for the fight against Covid-19.

Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh said “We have to review all the details like before entering the big battle.”

To prepare for the long-term fight, the PM asked Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh to continue the vaccine diplomacy, Deputy PM Le Minh Khai to assume responsibility for finance, logistics, and allocating national reserves, Deputy PM Vu Duc Dam to be in charge of the anti-pandemic mission and healthcare, and Deputy PM Le Van Thanh to take care of goods circulation and supply.

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