As the COVID-19 cases found in communities surge, Ho Chi Minh City authorities will be tightening its mobility restrictions starting Monday, August 23. All residents across the southern metropolis will be required to “stay where they are”.
The Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control, led by deputy head Pham Duc Hai, said on Friday that the situation in the city has gotten more complicated despite being under lockdown since early July.
As of this writing, HCMC already recorded 164,342 coronavirus infections and 5,727 deaths since the fourth outbreak began on April 27.
On Monday, all the people in HCMC will have to stay inside their homes, and will not be allowed to be on streets, in other houses or in other public spaces at any given time.
According to the steering committee, authorities will be supplying citizens with essential goods and medical care, especially those who most need them.
These new and stricter measures will help curb the spread of the virus in communities. COVID-19 testing and vaccination will continue.
Specific details of the new measures will be announced once the plan is completed and finalized.
As per latest official announcement, the city will continue to be under Directive 16 until September 15.
More community cases found
Last week, health authorities lauded the improving situation in Ho Chi Minh City, with the chairman of the city’s People’s Committee, Nguyen Thanh Phong, saying that between August 4 and 10, HCMC recorded an average of 3,750 daily cases, 81% of which were from locked down areas.
However, over the last few days, the city’s community infections have seen a worrying increase in numbers. On August 19 alone, HCMC confirmed 4,425 new cases.
Officials said that the large number of cases were detected because of upscaled testing, the city’s strategy to identify and isolate all possible patients.
Nguyen Hong Tam, director of the HCMC Center for Disease Control said the city’s ongoing mass testing is expected to result in more positive cases. He further noted that many have also done self-testing through approved kits.
He, however, admitted that many city residents have failed to follow social distancing rules, which may have caused community infections.
This week’s COVID-19 cases, which continue to rise by the day, were mostly found in the community.