HCMC – The Ministry of Health confirmed 8,497 new Covid-19 cases this evening, November 13, with 16 of them imported and 8,481 locally infected, sending the country’s total case count in the current fourth wave to 1,013,360.
The new infections were detected in 57 cities and provinces and fell 495 cases against yesterday.
HCMC reported the most infections, at 1,240, followed by Dong Nai with 743, Binh Duong with 631, Tay Ninh with 593, An Giang with 547, Dong Thap with 459 and Tien Giang with 356.
In addition, 296 cases were detected in Soc Trang, 292 in Vinh Long, 271 in Ca Mau, 265 in Binh Thuan, 224 in Ba Ria-Vung Tau and 209 in Khanh Hoa.
Other cities and provinces reported fewer than 200 cases each.
In the fourth wave, 858,054 Covid patients have fully recovered nationwide, including 1,843 patients released from hospitals today. Currently, over 3,800 coronavirus patients are in critical condition.
The Ministry of Health today also confirmed 88 Covid-19 deaths, including 38 cases in HCMC, eight each in Binh Duong and Tay Ninh, six in An Giang, five each in Tien Giang and Binh Thuan, four each in Can Tho and Bac Lieu, three in Dong Nai, two each in Long An, Dong Thap and Soc Trang and one in Vinh Long.
At a meeting today of the HCMC anti-pandemic steering committee, director of the municipal Department of Industry and Trade Bui Ta Hoang Vu proposed allowing all restaurants and eateries in the city to offer alcoholic drinks again if they meet safety requirements.
On October 28, the HCMC government allowed all restaurants and eateries to resume dine-in services but only those in District 7 and Thu Duc City to offer alcohol drinks.
Both Thu Duc and District 7 have controlled restaurants and eateries well and prevented negative issues after piloting the policy for two weeks.
The municipal Department of Industry and Trade has consulted with some experts over the issue and found that drinking with friends would help reduce stress and negative impacts of the pandemic, Vu said.
However, restaurants and eateries must shut before 9 p.m. and operate at 50% capacity and their customers must be fully vaccinated.
Director of the municipal Department of Tourism Nguyen Thi Anh Hoa threw her support behind the proposal, saying that the city was adapting safely and flexibly to and effectively controlling Covid-19 and the awareness of residents and enterprises had increased. The city should resume catering services and allow the offering of alcohol drinks in a specific roadmap.
At the meeting, director of the municipal Department of Health Tang Chi Thuong proposed reopening quarantine centers in districts and field hospitals as the number of Covid-19 cases has risen in the city.
Earlier, the city had established nearly 200 quarantine centers with over 37,000 beds in districts. After the pandemic was put under control, many quarantine centers have closed.
As for the pandemic in the city over the past seven days, Hoc Mon, Binh Chanh, Binh Tan, 12 and Go Vap districts and Thu Duc City have seen their new Covid cases rising.
The city has had some 40 Covid-19 deaths per day in the period, with those aged over 65 accounting for 52% and those suffering from underlying illnesses making up 85%. Thu Duc City and Go Vap, Binh Chanh, 12 and Tan Binh districts reported the most fatalities over the past three days.
In related news, HCMC has decided to resume 30 more bus routes in the city from November 15, raising the total number of resumed bus routes in the city to 85 to serve local residents’ travel demand.
Le Hoan, deputy director of the HCMC Management Center of Public Transport, today said that the 30 bus routes included 29 subsidized routes and one non-subsidized route, which is route No. 96 from Cho Lon Bus Station to Cu Chi Bus Station.
HCMC currently has 126 bus routes, including 90 subsidized routes and 36 non-subsidized ones. On October 5, the city resumed four bus routes in Can Gio District.