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Ho Chi Minh City app to assess COVID-19 transmission risks

Image credit: Ministry of Information and Communications

Ho Chi Minh City’s ICT department has launched a mobile application to monitor the risk of COVID-19 spreading in a particular locality.

The app is available on the government’s website and is expected to be in app stores on Android and iOS soon.

The app will also help the Steering Board for COVID-19 Prevention and Control and relevant agencies monitor the situation, a press release has noted.

The city has issued safety criteria for businesses in the fields of tourism, transport, food services, education, trading markets, supermarkets, and commercial centres. Other criteria for museums, relics, libraries, and sport service establishments have also been issued.

The fundraising board for COVID-19 prevention and control has received more than VND153 billion (US$ 6.5 million) in donations from companies and individuals since 20 March when the fund was launched by the Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee in HCM City.

Out of the budget, VND 2 billion (about US$ 85,330) was donated to the Can Gio District Hospital, a dormitory used as a quarantine area at the Vietnam National University-HCM City, Chợ Ray Hospital, the city’s Hospital for Tropical Diseases, Cu Chi Field Hospital, the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Ha Noi, and the Military School’s Building Block A, which is used as a quarantine area.

Nearly VND2 billion was donated to doctors and other health staff at quarantine areas, and to 16 sites that check body temperatures and health declaration forms, the release added.

More than VND14 billion (about US $597,315) was allocated to 18,707 lottery ticket sellers who faced difficulties during the social distancing period.

The head of the Department of Health, Dr Nguyen Tan Binh, said that 55 COVID-19 cases have been recorded in the city since the outbreak, including 11 being treated at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases and the Cu Chi Field Hospital.

As of 4 May, the city has 88 people isolated in its quarantine areas, while 103 are self-isolating at home.

Of the 11 patients being treated at hospitals, nine who previously recovered and were discharged from hospitals tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 again.

At an online meeting of the Steering Board for COVID-19 Prevention and Control, the vice-chairman of the city People’s Committee told local health officials to test patients who have recovered and been discharged every day during a 30 day period.

COVID-19 patients who have been discharged from hospitals are isolated in the city’s quarantine areas for 14 days.

He also told people’s committees, especially in districts of 1 and 2, and the Centre for Diseases Control and Prevention to continue carrying out strict surveillance of COVID-19 patients who recover and are discharged from hospitals and are sent home.

These patients are required to comply with regulations about self-quarantine at home for 14 days after their discharge. They should wear masks, wash their hands regularly, limit contact with others, and monitor their health for 30 days.

The vice-chairman instructed the department to increase the number of tests of people who have been quarantined after entering Vietnam from other countries.

The city will continue testing workers who live in rented rooms, staff serving meals to workers at companies, and servers at large restaurants, as well as people with symptoms of respiratory diseases who go to hospitals for examination and treatment.

Drugstore staff should also provide information about COVID-19 for people who have symptoms of respiratory diseases.

The department is working with other agencies to check companies, organisations and establishments to ensure that they are complying with safety criteria for COVID-19 prevention and control which the People’s Committee has issued.

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