Ho Chi Minh City authorities call for strengthened COVID-19 response

Friday, 2021-07-23 15:18:10
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Ho Chi Minh City starts a seven-day campaign to disinfect the whole city on July 23, 2021, aimed at improving the effectiveness of COVID-19 prevention and control measures. (Photo: NDO/Quang Quy)
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NDO – Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee Nguyen Van Nen has signed a directive urging the strengthening of measures to implement Directive 16/CT-TTg from the Prime Minister on the prevention and control of the COVID-19 epidemic in the southern hub.

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13 days after a strict social distancing order was applied across the city under Directive 16, the outbreak in Vietnam’s largest COVID-19 hotbed is still complicated.

Faced with that situation, the city’s Party Committee has decided to strengthen a number of measures to implement Directive 16 in order to block and control the spread of the epidemic, maintain the expansion of the safe zone, and control the spread in high-risk areas.

The city urged a focus on promoting communication, guiding the implementation of the social distancing rule and measures to prevent and control the epidemic, along with strengthening inspection and supervision of the regulations on social distancing, especially the following of person to person and family-to-family distancing and the requirements on medical isolation and blockade.

Local residents are allowed to leave their houses only when there is a medical emergency request or to purchase essential food at supermarkets/markets in blockade areas (two times/week, using shopping vouchers issued by local authorities). In some high-risk areas, people are required to stay at home and the local government will bring essential necessities to each house.

The newly-issued directive also requires the suspension of non-essential production and business activities, as well as construction sites, while banking and securities guarantee their operations are maintained at medium level to provide the necessary services in a timely manner.

The directive also tightens business operations, allowing essential services and manufacturing businesses to operate with safety requirements met, strictly adhering to the principles of epidemic prevention and control.

Wet markets are only allowed to operate under a new model with strict social distancing ensured in an open, airy space, with a barrier erected between buyers and sellers, and encouraging the sales in the form of ready-made bags. Only trading in food, foodstuffs and essential goods are allowed, with scale reduced to about 30%. Traders operate alternately on even-odd days to minimise their interaction with others.

State agencies organise alternate working days or sessions within the day at their offices, and public officials are only allowed to go to the street in case of urgent work.

Checkpoints and COVID-19 control stations at the gateways to the city will only allow vehicles transporting goods with identification codes (QR Codes) to enter the city, along with other vehicles on duty.

The directive also requires the strengthening of effective communication to provide accurate, timely and positive information on epidemic prevention and control activities to the public.

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