On Monday, Vietnam state media reported that Ho Chi Minh City may have 40% more unrecorded cases. For transparency, the HCMC officials have requested to recognize positive rapid tests for COVID-19.
In the said report, since August 20, positive rapid tests of 150,000 people in HCMC have not been included in the overall patient tally.
An unnamed official at the city's health department told the local media that due to insufficient resources, the 150,000 individuals received medical treatment but had not undertaken swab tests. The case here in Vietnam, like in most countries, is that health officials only count positive swab-based Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests. Thus, missing to count the 150,000 more.
But even after the request from the COVID-19 epicenter, the reopening of the city’s economy on October 1 remains relentless.
Reopening on October 1
Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam has asked the residents of HCMC to take great precautions adjusting to COVID-19 prevention measures stated in the directive that’s currently being drafted. Dam also added that every individual must commit to enforcing the pandemic prevention measures and focus on essential-only activities.
The Deputy PM recommended that businesses and production establishments in industrial zones, processing and exporting zones, and high-tech zones should be given priority to reopen.
So far, the number of new cases and deaths is dropping. In addition to that, more than 95% of adults have already received at least one vaccine dose and 33% are fully vaccinated in the city.
The considered safe areas, Districts 7, Cu Chi and Can Gio, have partially reopened some businesses.
In the meeting with Deputy PM Dam, the risks of infection as workers from other provinces and cities with low vaccination rates return to HCMC for work was addressed. “The city must work with Mekong Delta provinces and consult with the Prime Minister on pandemic control measures when the workers from the provinces come to the city to work,” Dam explained.
To further ensure the safety of HCMC residents as well as the neighboring cities, 12 checkpoints at its gateways and 39 other checkpoints at the entrances to other localities will be in place.
Services to reopen?
Allowed in HCMC
Delivery of food and drink items
In-door hairdressing salons but only at 50% capacity
Traditional markets, wholesale markets, shopping centers, stores for stationery, textbooks and other learning equipment
Mechanics, electronics and home appliances, and construction works
Tourism sites at 30% capacity and all visitors must have two vaccine doses, or have made a full recovery from COVID-19 or test negative for the virus
Sports events at 30% capacity and all participants must have two doses of vaccines or have fully recovered from the disease
Outdoor exercise and cultural activities of no more than 10 people, or 50 people if all of them are fully vaccinated
Wedding services of up to 50 people with supervision from medical workers
Public transport will resume but will only be allowed to operate at 50% capacity.
HCMC officials are also proposing the reopening of some domestic and international air routes.
As for non-essential services and businesses like beauty salons, karaoke venues, pubs, bars and massage parlors, they will remain closed.
Today’s COVID-19 cases
The Ministry of Health confirmed 4,589 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, down by more than half from the previous day, the lowest since July 19. Vietnam's national patient tally is now at 770,640.
The latest patients include six imported cases and 4,583 domestic infections detected in 36 cities and provinces.
Binh Duong is now leading with 2,575, HCMC came in second with 377. The rest of the cases were detected in An Giang (232), Long An (159), Kien Giang (70), Tay Ninh (55), Can Tho (52), Binh Thuan (48), Tien Giang (38), Khanh Hoa (35), Ninh Thuan (16), Binh Phuoc (15), Quang Binh (15), Dak Lak (14), Hau Giang (11), Ha Nam (11), Ca Mau (10), Vinh Long (8), Tra Vinh (7), Dong Thap (7), Ha Noi (6), Dak Nong (5), Binh Dinh (5), Quang Ngai (5), Quang Tri (4), Phu Yen (3), Ba Ria-Vung Tau (3), Quang Ninh (2), Ben Tre (2), Quang Nam (2), Da Nang (2), Bac Giang (1) and Bac Lieu (1).
Fourteen out of the above localities have gone 14 days without new local infection: Bac Kan, Tuyen Quang, Lai Chau, Hoa Binh, Yen Bai, Ha Giang, Thai Nguyen, Dien Bien, Hai Phong, Phu Tho, Ninh Binh, Nam Dinh, Thai Binh and Lang Son.
The MoH also reported 21,487 new recoveries, bringing the total number of recovered cases to 559,945.
Further 178 fatalities were recorded in the past 24 hours, taking the death toll to 18,936.
As of latest, Vietnam administered 40,095,031 COVID-19 vaccine doses, with 8,597,064 people having been fully vaccinated.