Returnees to HCMC must make health declaration

Chairman of the People’s Committee in Ho Chi Minh City Nguyen Thanh Phong ordered that all returnees to the city from Covid-19-hit areas in the Ministry of Health’s list especially the northern provinces of Hai Duong and Quang Ninh must fill health declaration sheets.

Chairman of the People’s Committee in Ho Chi Minh City Nguyen Thanh Phong at the meeting (Photo: SGGP)

Chairman of the People’s Committee in Ho Chi Minh City Nguyen Thanh Phong at the meeting (Photo: SGGP)

The Chairman made the order at a meeting of permanent Government members on pandemic prevention and control work held in Hanoi on February 15, in response to complicated developments recorded in several localities nationwide. The meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.
In order to prevent the spread of Covid-19 into the southern metropolis, city authorities will liaise with related agencies to check passengers at airports, bus stations and train stations and ask passengers to fill compulsory medical declarations.
Speaking at the meeting, Chairman Phong said from February 5 to 10, the city detected 35 Covid-19 locally-transmitted cases including 9 employees in Tan Son Nhat Airport and 26 their close contacts. Mr. Phong said that according to initial assessment, most of Covid-19 cases had no key symptoms of Covid-19 and even many of them were negative quickly after a short time of treatment.
Scientists announced that genome sequencing results have shown that Covid-19 outbreaks in Tan Son Nhat Airport are likely caused by variant A.23.1 originating from Rwanda not contagious B.1.1.7 found in the UK. A.23.1 has been detected in the U.S., UAE, Australia, the UK, and Denmark but the A.23.1 mutated coronavirus has not caused abnormal development in these above-mentioned nations.
Therefore, the city health sector has implemented tracking and lockdown measures as well as disinfection at industrial parks, rental residential quarters and markets.
Additionally, the city has increased testing campaigns following the Ministry of Health’s direction at high-risk places such as bus stations, traditional wholesale markets, and worker dormitories. From February 11 to 14, approximately 6,551 people underwent tests and 6,504 of them were negative for virus SARS-CoV-2 while 47 are waiting for test results.
Ho Chi Minh City has ordered local entertainment facilities, including cinemas, massage parlors, bars, karaoke bars, discos, and beer clubs, to shut down in a bid to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus disease. Moreover, people must wear facemasks in outside public places as per the 5K principle including Khau trang (Facemask) – Khu khuan (Disinfection) – Khoang cach (Keeping distance) – Khong tap trung dong nguoi (No gathering) – Khai bao y te (Medical declaration). Students were allowed to stay at home and switch to online learning. City dwellers were advised to organize parties at home rather than in eateries.
Chairman Phong required local authorities to encourage people to install Bluezone, a mobile application designed to assist in contact tracing, in order to better curb the novel coronavirus disease outbreaks. He revealed just 7.2 million mobile phone users in the city have installed the app Bluezone.
The health sector was asked to keep biological products and test kits and work together to conduct 15,000 samples within 24 hours or even 25,000 – 30,000 samples for timely isolation to curb spread of the disease in organizations.
Chairman Phong stressed that the city will continue keeping an eye on illegal immigration as well as remove difficulties to benefit businesses, social welfare beneficiaries and poor people who have been suffering losses due to Covid-19 impact.

By Thanh Son - Translated by Uyen Phuong

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