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HCM City plans tighter movement restrictions to curb COVID-19

Ho Chi Minh City is considering stronger movement restrictions given the COVID-19 situation remaining complicated, a local official said on July 25.

Phan Van Mai, Standing Vice Secretary of the municipal Party Committee, told the media that HCM City has imposed social distancing at different levels for 55 days since May 31, and it is applying stronger measures detailed in the Prime Minister’s Directive 16.

However, the local COVID-19 situation has yet to ease, he said, blaming the situation on the insufficient enforcement of social distancing by both anti-pandemic forces and residents, apart from the highly contagious Delta variant.

He warned that the situation will get worse if the distancing is not practiced seriously, calling on authorised forces and people to unanimously and stringently apply anti-pandemic measures, including staying at home and not going outside for non-essential reasons.

Patrol will be increased to strictly impose social distancing, he noted.

Mai said on July 26 at the latest, the municipal People’s Committee will issue a document detailing the groups of people allowed to go outside and the permitted outdoor activities, which may also be restricted to certain time slots.

The city will increase goods supply as well as assistance for people with disadvantages, he added.

The application of Directive 16 is scheduled to last until August 1, but worse scenarios also need to be taken into account to make preparations, which should be done by both relevant agencies and local residents.

HCM City is also making use of every resource to ensure effective treatment and minimise COVID-19 deaths, according to Mai.

The number of domestic cases since April 27, when the fourth outbreak began, stood at 91,165, and HCM City posted the largest number of infections, 57,917.

Facing the surge in COVID-19 infections, the municipal People’s Committee proposed the Prime Minister send 5,000 health workers to assist the city in treatment and another 2,000 to help with sample collection for testing.

As of July 15, 24 delegations with 4,473 health personnel from other localities, hospitals, and medical universities and colleges nationwide were deployed to HCM City to help with the COVID-19 fight.

On July 8, the Ministry of Health decided to mobilise 10,000 health personnel from its subordinate units and localities in the northern and central regions to assist HCM City. It also sent 25 leaders of its agencies to support the pandemic combat in the southern economic hub./.