HCM City tightens pandemic prevention measures at border with Cambodia

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A family wearing full protective clothing at Tân Sơn Nhất airport in HCM City during the Lunar New Year holiday. The city government has called for stricter implementation of anti-pandemic measures at the border with Cambodia. VNS Photo Bồ Xuân Hiệp

HCM CITY — The chairman of HCM City People’s Committee has called for stricter implementation of anti-pandemic measures at the border with Cambodia as the number of COVID-19 cases there is surging, which could lead to the collapse of that country’s healthcare system as warned by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Speaking at a meeting on Monday on pandemic control and prevention, Nguyễn Thành Phong said that the COVID-19 situation had become worse in neighbouring countries, especially Cambodia, which borders southern Việt Nam.

The number of cases in Cambodia has soared from about 500 last year to more than 4,081 just a few days ago, following a local incident related to a number of Chinese who legally entered the country but violated quarantine regulations.

On April 10, the number of new cases reported in Cambodia was 454, he said.

“The situation in Cambodia has posed a significant risk of infection for HCM City, so the city must closely monitor illegal entries from Cambodia,” Phong said.

Phong told agencies to continue to tighten control of illegal entries from Cambodia to prevent the spread of the virus.

HCM City will continue to take medical declarations and do periodic monitoring and screening of high-risk people.

The city has not recorded any new cases in the community for two months.

It has completed the first round of vaccinations for frontline medical staff.

Because the supply of vaccines remains limited, it is important to have a fair risk assessment to compile a priority list for vaccinations under guidance from the Ministry of Health.

The city plans to ensure enough vaccinations for everyone, according to Phong.

He has asked the city Police and High Command of HCM City to prepare plans for quarantine of illegal entries.

“While waiting for measures to deal with illegal entries, it is important to intensify supervision of medical quarantine regulations for illegal entries so as to detect and treat any infections to prevent the virus from spreading, following the Ministry of Health guidelines.”

Nguyễn Tấn Bỉnh, director of the Department of Health, said the city was treating 11 newly imported cases, all of whom have mild symptoms.

It will continue to test people in high-risk areas such as supermarkets, train and bus stations, airports, schools, businesses and factories, and others at high risk, such as airport arrivals, international flight crews, medical staff, chronically ill patients at hospitals, and airport staff (all of whom have tested negative recently), according to Bỉnh.

Regarding COVID-19 vaccinations, as of April 10, the city had vaccinated 7,530 medical staff at 65 medical facilities. Post-injection reactions are closely monitored and all are in stable condition.

From April 12-16, the HCM City Centre Disease Control will receive 1,600 vaccine doses for staff working at hotels being used for centralised quarantine, according to Bỉnh.

The city strongly recommends that people continue to strictly follow the ministry’s measures to prevent winter-spring diseases as well as COVID-19.

The city continues to promote its 5K (in Vietnamese) message: Khẩu trang (face mask) – Khử khuẩn (disinfection) – Khoảng cách (distance) – Không tụ tập (no gatherings) – Khai báo y tế (health declaration).

Việt Nam shares a 1,158-kilometre border with Cambodia. — VNS

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