HCM City keeps close eye on COVID-19 amid surge in travel during Tet hinh anh 1A man gets a COVID-19 vaccination shot at the District 3 Medical Centre in HCM City on January 31.(Photo: VNA)
HCM City (VNS/VNA) – Ho Chi Minh City set up 45 COVID-19 vaccination sites during the Tet (Lunar New Year) holidays, and immunised around 300 people, according to its Department of Health.

Health authorities had a “thoughtful” plan for potential COVID-19 outbreaks since a huge number of people were travelling during the period, Dr Nguyen Van Vinh Chau, deputy director of the department, said.

The city operated field hospital No 13 to provide treatment to COVID-19 patients as part of the response plan, he told a meeting his department held with the Ministry of Health on January 31 in HCM City.

The HCM City Hospital for Tropical Diseases closely coordinated with the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit for surveillance of SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID, he said.

Nguyen Thanh Dung, Director of the Hospital for Tropical Diseases, said the hospital’s Department of Infectious Diseases D, which receives patients critically ill with COVID from other medical facilities in the city, saw a decline in admissions during Tet.

It treated 17 during the holidays and now only three remain. “It is a very optimistic sign for the COVID-19 situation in the city,” he said

However, the number of dengue fever cases was high, with nearly 300 of them coming to the hospital last week, including 79 children, he said.

Luong Chan Quang, deputy head of the HCM City Pasteur Institute’s department of diseases control and prevention, said the COVID-19 response plan focused on high-risk residents, including seniors and people with underlying medical conditions.

"Disease surveillance in the community remains crucial," he added.

"The HCM City Pasteur Institute and HCM City Hospital for Tropical Diseases are capable of early detection of new mutations and variants through whole-genome sequencing," he said.

The city’s authorities needed to step up communications campaigns for providing COVID booster vaccines, he added./.