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Thursday, December 2, 2021

HCMC mulls removing Covid checkpoints at its gateways

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – The HCMC government is considering removing 51 Covid-19 checkpoints at the city’s gateways to facilitate the circulation of goods and the movement of workers between the city and neighboring provinces, as the situation in the city is improving, an HCMC official said.

After 18 days of enforcing the city’s Directive 18, the number of new cases has dropped five times compared to that at the height of pandemic transmission, while daily deaths have fallen to a two-digit figure from a three-to-four-digit number, said Le Hoa Binh, vice chairman of the city’s government.

Binh was speaking at a virtual meeting held yesterday, October 19, with the authorities of Thu Duc City and districts in HCMC to review the socioeconomic performance from January to September and put forward tasks for the final months of the year.

All of the inner-city Covid checkpoints were removed early this month when Directive 18 came into force. However, the city maintained 12 checkpoints at the city’s gateways to other provinces and 39 others in the districts bordering other provinces to check travelers entering and exiting the city.

Regarding the assessment of the pandemic transmission risk in line with the Government’s Resolution 128, HCMC was categorized at Level 3 or at high risk a week ago, but it is now estimated at Level 2, or moderate risk, said Tang Chi Thuong, director of the HCMC Health Department.

The pandemic transmission risk level could move up or down depending on the development of Covid, he added.

The city has discovered weaknesses in the local health system, especially at the grassroots level during the latest coronavirus wave. Accordingly, the city needs to map out a strategy to reinforce the health system and restructure the medical treatment system to adapt to the new normal.

Hospitals and medical centers citywide have to make changes to be able to admit and treat Covid and non-Covid patients.

In the upcoming period, each general hospital must have a Covid-19 treatment ward, Thuong said.

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