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Saturday, September 30, 2023

PM wants anti-Covid measures intensified as cases soar

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has called on the provincial anti-Covid-19 authorities nationwide to tighten anti-coronavirus measures as new cases are surging in many parts of the country, according to an urgent dispatch by the Government Office.

The provincial anti-Covid authorities must strictly implement Resolution 128 which the Government issued on October 12 allowing the country to safely live with the pandemic and thus doing away with the Zero Covid strategy due to the highly contagious Delta coronavirus variant.

When Resolution 128 came into force, the prime minister’s Directives 15, 16 and 19 on social distancing were suspended, thereby easing mobility restrictions nationwide.

Even though national vaccination rates have risen markedly, community infections have soared in provinces where access to Covid vaccines remains limited while stay-at-home mandates no longer exist.

PM Pham Minh Chinh also asked provinces and cities to improve their health system capacity, especially at the grassroots level, set up pop-up healthcare stations in high-risk areas, and speed up vaccinations.

He urged the Ministry of Health to step up vaccine allocations. Besides this, the Health and National Defense ministries need to support cities and provinces to carry out their vaccination campaigns.

In addition, he ordered the strict monitoring of compliance with anti-Covid regulations at State agencies, organizations, businesses, and especially at crowded places such as hospitals, factories, wet markets, airports, and train and bus stations.

The local authorities are required to raise public awareness of anti-Covid measures and get ready for possible Covid outbreaks despite rising vaccination rates.

HCMC has a high vaccination rate, with almost all people 12 and older having got at least one vaccine shot, but new infection clusters have emerged, especially in outlying areas. Hoc Mon District has 25 infection clusters in the community, with over 6,700 cases detected through rapid and PCR tests over the past two weeks. However, most of the new cases have no or mild symptoms.

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