HCM City asked to use IT in COVID-19 prevention and control hinh anh 1Collecting samples for COVID-19 testing (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control has ordered Ho Chi Minh City’s authorities to soon apply information technology such as automatic switchboards calling local residents to ask about symptoms of cough and fever for timely collection of samples for COVID-19 testing.

This request was made at an online meeting of the steering committee on June 2 under the chair by Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, who is also head of the steering committee.

Director of the municipal Department of health Nguyen Tan Binh reported that HCM City recorded 227 COVID-19 cases since May 26, with most of those linked to the infection cluster at “Hoi thanh truyen giao Phuc Hung” (Revival Ekklesia Mission).

Up to 20 out of the city’s 22 districts have reported infections, except for district 11 and Can Gio district. The districts with infections have a high population density, posing a high-risk of rapid spread in the community if the city has no specific measures to stamp out the pandemic.

According to Binh, the city’s health sector averagely collected 100,000 samples for COVID-19 testing, with 50 percent of those tested every day.

It has also prepared a standby plan for quarantine and treatment, while strengthening preventive measures to ensure safety in medical facilities, Binh added.

Dang Quang Tan, Director of the Ministry of Health (MoH)’s Department of Preventive Medicine, said HCM City needs to conduct COVID-19 screen testing on a large scale, especially in high-risk areas.

Associate Prof. Dr. Tran Dac Phu, head of the advisory group for SARS-CoV-2 testing and diagnosis of the MoH, revealed the ministry’s plan to build draft guidelines for testing and quarantine for imported cases.

Regarding vaccine, the steering committee requested the MoH to create all favorable conditions for the import of COVID-19 vaccines, and have flexible plans to reasonably distribute vaccines.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Science and Technology was asked to urgently promote research of technology and new testing methods and equipment in order to meet the demand of screen testing./.