Mr. Nguyen Thanh Phong who heads the city steering committee for COVID-19 epidemic prevention and control made the statement while he and Permanent Vice Secretary of the HCMC Party Committee Tran Luu Quang co-chaired an online meeting for Covid-19 epidemic prevention and control on March 19 .
Chairman Phong asked his Standing Deputy Chairman Le Thanh Liem and Director of Department of Health Nguyen Tan Binh to estimate the number of medical workers in all health facilities to decide how many juniors and seniors and retired doctors will be mobilized.
He reaffirmed that Ho Chi Minh City entirely has enough human and sufficient material resources for isolation and treatment of both Vietnamese and foreign patients.
Talking about concentrated isolation zones, Mr. Phong noted that the departments and branches must examine the working status and capacity of current isolation zones as well as new isolation areas should be in good preparation for operation. Besides, elements such as means of transports and equipment used for preventing the disease also play an integral role in proper operation of these quarantined areas, he emphasized.
If the Ho Chi Minh City High Command does not have enough soldiers to support the preparation of concentrated isolation areas, the city will mobilize young volunteers to help. At the same time, the contingent of medical doctors in army, military hospitals, police hospitals and ambulance team are also called for some trainings to get ready for the fight against this pandemic.
Presently, the Vietnam National University’s isolation zone contains 20,000-accommodation hostel can be used as isolation sick-beds in emergency cases.
More and more places of isolation in Ho Chi Minh City will be completed soon including Hospital 175 with 300 beds, Gia Dinh Regiment with 300 beds, the Military School Hall of Military Region 7 with 300 beds, isolation area in District 7 with 250 beds.
It is expected that about 1,300 to 1,700 Vietnamese people averagely will return to Ho Chi Minh City through Tan Son Nhat airport every day in the next ten days.
Mr. Nguyen Thanh Phong asked state competent departments and agencies to have enough sick-beds in quarantined areas to receive up to about 17,000 people from epidemic-hit areas. "Without careful preparations, Ho Chi Minh City will be embarrassed immediately", Mr. Phong reminded.
Additionally, Mr. Nguyen Thanh Phong directed the Department of Industry and Trade of Ho Chi Minh City to coordinate with HCMC Union of Commercial Cooperatives to prepare supplies for isolation areas; actively coordinate to prepare food backup plans to ensure enough supplies for people in Ho Chi Minh City in the context of widespread epidemics.
Chairman Phong reiterated Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s notices in the prevention and control of Covid-19 on March 16 putting stress on attention to the risk of infection between family members.
Mr. Phong revealed that the epidemic development is very complicated, Vietnam is entering a new stage of epidemic prevention. Therefore, the chairman requested districts, wards, communes and towns to disseminate information of the disease.
Besides, local administrations should assist families to prevent the spread of disease. In particular, it is necessary to promote the role of wards, communes, population groups and apartment buildings in support of families with at-risk members.
He requested that all districts must have a response plan, because the community spread is very strong; for example, an employee of Green Electronics store in the Central City of Da Nang had contact with 56 people.
As per schedule, the Chairman of Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee and officials in the Ho Chi Minh steering committee for COVID-19 epidemic prevention and control will examine the situation response in districts on March 21. Even wards and communes must have plans to cope with the situation, firmly grasping the health situation of people in each residential area.
The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Transport has cooperated with the Saigon Transportation Mechanical Corporation (SAMCO) to mobilize a fleet of 30 buses for transporting people to isolation areas.
Ho Chi Minh City Command also coordinated closely with the Military Region 7 Command to meet with the Command of the localities bordering Ho Chi Minh City to prepare a backup plan to transport people in close exposure with areas affected by the diseases to nearby localities in case of overloading in Ho Chi Minh city.
The Chairman urged departments to urgently isolate people into concentrated isolation areas, not let them to standing in long lines at At Tan Son Nhat Airport, the Chairman urged departments to urgently isolate people into concentrated isolation areas, not allowing them to stay long in crowds at the airport.
As mentioned by Mr. Phong, currently five hotels in Ho Chi Minh City are used as isolation places, with preferential fees including a hotel near Tan Son Nhat airport.
Ho Chi Minh City will update daily information to take the next appropriate responses.
A Cham ethnic and a Vietnam Airlines pilot initially tested positive for Covid-19
Director of Department of Health Nguyen Tan Binh, said in a meeting that there are now 13 positive cases of the flu-like disease called Covid-19 and 177 suspected cases (show symptoms or have close contacts with positive cases) with 173 cases out of them tested negative. Nearly 3,000 cases have been placed in quarantined zones and 615 cases have been self-isolated at home.
A Cham ethnic, who attended a mass Islamic of 16,000 pilgrims in Malaysia traveling on the same flight with the 61st case in the South-central Province of Ninh Thuan, lives in District 8. Functional forces have blockaded surrounding areas of this house with 27 households and a mosque containing 280 pilgrims.
One more positive case was a Britian pilot of Vietnam Airlines who is living in an apartment in Thao Dien Ward, District 2. On March 3, he had flown the flight VN006 from HCMC to Bangkok and flew another the flight from HCMC to Hanoi 9 days after.
The city is also preparing a 1,000-bed infirmary, the second branch of the Oncology Hospital in District 9. The final scenario is to take patients being treated at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases to another place to make room for newly-infected cases.
Dr. Binh also affirmed that the city has had sufficient medical equipment. Moreover, the health sector has recently provided medical equipment for the task force at international airport Tan Son Nhat and border gates. This weekend, HCMC will have more 20 negative airflow rooms to put coronavirus patients in.