HCMC – The HCMC government has decided to extend social distancing citywide by one month as the Covid-19 pandemic is showing no sign of easing.
Addressing a meeting this morning, August 15, Phan Van Mai, permanent deputy secretary of the HCMC Party Committee, said Covid infections and deaths are still high while the city’s health care system has become overwhelmed. Daily new cases are also rising in HCMC’s neighboring provinces.
Therefore, the city needs to extend social distancing following the prime minister’s Directive No. 16 until September 15.
Directive No. 16 requires people to stay at home and only go out for urgent purposes such as emergencies, medical checkups, fires, natural disasters, funerals, buying food and medicines or working at factories.
The directive also requires the suspension of non-essential services and activities, dine-in and takeaway food and drink services as well as public passenger transport services.
In the next one month, the city will try to provide sufficient goods and necessities for the residents and keep the residents’ safety a top priority.
The city will implement more relief aid packages for the poor, the elderly, self-employed workers and people that have lost their jobs due to Covid.
According to Mai, vaccination plays a vital role in helping the city put the pandemic under control. Therefore, the city is trying to access more vaccine supply sources to accelerate its vaccination campaign.
The city imposed social distancing citywide under Directive No.16 for 14 days starting August 2. From May 31, the city began social distancing under Directive No. 15 in 15 days, while Go Vap District and District 12’s Thanh Loc Ward had to implement the shelter-in-place requirements under Directive No. 16.
However, as new infection clusters in the community emerged, the city’s chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong extended the social distancing under Directive No. 15 for another two weeks, from June 15 to 29. On June 19, the authorities issued Directive No. 10 tightening anti-virus measures in the city. It suspended local makeshift markets and passenger transport services and other services until now.
By July 9, the southern city as the current biggest Covid-19 hotspot switched to implementing the stay-at-home mandate under Directive No. 16 for 15 days.
Since the pandemic showed no signs of abating, on July 22, Nguyen Van Nen, secretary of the HCMC Party Committee, signed Directive No. 12 intensifying the implementation of Covid-19 control measures.
On the following day, HCMC Chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong signed a dispatch tightening social distancing measures under Directive No. 16, including banning people from leaving home from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.