All passengers arriving at Ho Chi Minh City’s domestic airport and train and bus stations and by private vehicles will need to get a quick test for COVID-19 from April 9, according to southern city authorities.
If the result is positive, they will be isolated at public quarantine sites and tested again using the RT-PCR test technique, according to the city Department of Health.
Until now, only air passengers needed to get tested.
Speaking at an online meeting on COVID-19 on Tuesday, the secretary of the city Party Committee, said there are 2.4 infected people for every million people in Vietnam, which is relatively low compared to other countries.
COVID-19 has spread to 25 out of 63 provinces and cities in the country, he said.
The quarantine areas could accommodate up to 12,600 people, and 8,400 beds are now vacant, he said.
While the rate of spread is under control and the number of people coming from abroad to the city has decreased, authorities plan to expand the quarantine capacity by 12,000 beds, he said.
The city also has 2,300 hospital beds to treat people with COVID-19, of which only 5 per cent are in use, he said.
The city should strengthen social distancing and other measures like scrutinising those at risk of spreading the disease, wearing masks in public places and washing hand regularly.
The city has adopted geographic information system (GIS) technology to monitor crowds and on average tests 1,800 samples a day.
It has also set up 62 round-the-clock posts and stations for COVID-19 prevention and control, and they will function until April 15 or further notice.
The personnel there, drawn from public security, the military, health, inspection, and food hygiene, provide clear information about preventive measures against the disease and social distancing.
Anyone who fails to wear a mask in public or is in a gathering of more than two people is fined.
Risk assessment indicators
The HCM City Steering Committee for COVID-19 Disease Prevention has issued a set of indicators to assess the risk of the novel virus infection at businesses, and those scoring more than 80 per cent in the index will be asked to shut completely.
Business scoring from 50 per cent to 80 per cent will also be asked to shut unless they manage to come up with solutions to mitigate the risk.
Other businesses can operate normally but will be supervised constantly by the authorities.
The indicators are based on factors like number of workers, density of workers, workers washing their hands with alcohol-based sanitisers before entering and leaving the factory, percentage of workers wearing masks while working, ratio of workers whose temperatures are checked before entering the factory, distance between workers at the cafeteria, and number of workers going to work by pick-up vehicle.
As of April 6, the city had a total of 53 COVID-19 patients, of whom 34 had contracted it abroad.