Social distancing measures will be imposed across Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) for at least 15 days starting May 31 as multiple Covid-19 infections found, Chairman of the municipal People's Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong announced at a meeting on Sunday.
The move aims to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus when the city has recorded 126 patients since May 26 after the southern hub had gone 20 days without confirming any local infection, the city chairman said.
He stressed that strict measures are needed as a new cluster found in the Revival Ekklesia Mission Christian sect in Go Vap district has kept getting bigger and the city has reported more Covid-19 cases linked to the religious mission.
Functional forces block an alley in District 3 of Ho Chi Minh City related to Covid-19 cases. Photo: Quang Dinh
HCMC earlier this week shut down shops and restaurants. On May 25, the city imposed social distancing measures following the Vietnamese government's Directive 16 in Go Vap district, where the religious mission is based, and District 12's Thanh Loc ward. A large number of infections have been recorded in these areas.
Over the past days, people in other areas of HCM City have been asked to suspend social events, avoid gathering of more than 10 people outside workplaces, schools and hospitals as well as keeping a minimum distance of two meters.
Released by the prime minister on March 31, 2020, the Directive 16 covers the imposition of social distancing in pandemic hit areas, in which people are required to stay home with limited outdoor activities, except in an emergency or to buy food, drug, and for essential services.
Chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong asked the Department of Health to inspect the pandemic prevention and control works and the enforcement of social distancing measures at hospitals while medical facilities should install facial recognition cameras and implement the application of information technology in medical examination.
The HCMC Institute for Development Studies must provide economic growth forecasts for all industries in the next six months and a comprehensive evaluation of the socio-economic situation in 2021, the city’s leader emphasized.
For his part, Party Secretary of the HCMC Nguyen Van Nen called on the people to abide by the social distancing measures for their long-term benefit.
“The two weeks’ period can be quite long, but there is no other solution. We need to take into account worse scenario to prepare for it," said the municipal Party chief.
This is the second time HCMC has imposed social distancing across the city, with the first time in April last year, when it followed a national order.
At the time of writing, Vietnam's latest Covid-19 wave has hit 34 municipalities and infected 3,893 people over the past month, including 108 confirmed cases in HCMC. The total confirmed cases in the country is 6,908, according to the Ministry of Health.