HCMC – RT-PCR test results in coronavirus-free and low-risk areas in HCMC over the past few days have shown that more than 7% of the collected samples have returned positive for Covid-19, while the rate was 0.8% in coronavirus-free areas and 1.5% in low-risk areas in the previous rounds of testing, according to the municipal Department of Health.
On the contrary, the infection rate in extremely-high-risk and high-risk areas has fallen, the local media reported.
On September 15, more than 344,600 people in these areas took quick tests and over 3,900 of them were positive, making up 1.1%. The rate was some 1.3% on previous days, plunging from 3.6% in a mass testing drive from August 23 to 29 and 2.7% from August 30 to September 5.
In the fourth wave of Covid-19, the city conducted around 1.95 million RT-PCR tests and found over 320,000 Covid-19 cases, or more than 16%.
The mass testing drive has been enhanced since August 23, when the city started applying strict mobility restrictions. Accordingly, all residents in high-risk and extremely-high-risk areas must undergo rapid tests, while those in coronavirus-free areas and low-risk areas must undergo RT-PCR tests in groups of five or 10 people.
At a press briefing on September 16, deputy director of the municipal Department of Health Nguyen Hoai Nam said despite strict and long periods of social distancing, the number of new cases in the city remained high as the city had been enhancing testing.
Residents in extremely-high-risk areas have undergone seven to eight rounds of testing, while those in safe areas have undergone three to four rounds.
According to experts, the infection rate in low-risk areas has been high as the pandemic has spread in the community for a long time and the division of areas has been incorrect.
Doctor Luong Truong Son, former deputy head of the HCMC Institute of Malaria, Parasitology and Entomology, said all districts had Covid-19 cases.
Doctor Truong Huu Khanh, an expert in infectious diseases at the HCMC Children’s Hospital 1, shared the view, saying that many areas had been listed as coronavirus-free areas while Covid-19 cases remain in place.
Both doctors stressed the importance of vaccination and reducing treatment pressure, focusing on protecting the elderly and those with underlying health conditions.
Khanh said activities should be resumed if over 80% of high-risk people are vaccinated. To date, some 970,000 people aged over 65 and those with underlying health problems have taken their shots.