HCM City sets tighter rules as daily COVID-19 cases reach three-digit hinh anh 1Ho Chi Minh City imposes stricter social distancing measures to curb COVID-19 spread (Photo: VNA) 

HCM City (VNA) – HCM City has imposed stricter social distancing measures against COVID-19 by banning gatherings of more than three people and requesting people to maintain a minimum distance of 1.5 metre in public places, according to an urgent directive issued by the municipal People’s Committee on June 19.

The directive orders the suspension of all non-essential businesses and services as well as street markets, and requests local residents to refrain from going outside, except for food, medicine, emergency care, or working at factories.

It bans the gatherings of more than three people, instead of five in the previous order, in public places and outside offices, schools and hospitals while people must strictly observe the Ministry of Health’s 5K rules – “Khau trang” (face masks), “Khu khuan” (disinfection), “Khoang cach” (distancing), “Khong tu tap” (no gatherings), and “Khai bao y te” (health declarations). It also demands tougher actions from authorities on violators.

Both governmental organisations and private enterprises are asked to cancel unimportant meetings, minimise interaction among employees and allow them to work from home. If in-person meetings and events are required, they should gather no more than 10 people.

Additionally, the directive orders the municipal Department of Transport to halt public transportation; and the local Department of Health to conduct mass coronavirus testing at high-risk areas, such as export processing zones, industrial and hi-tech parks. The city targets to collect about 500,000 samples for testing per day.

HCM City has put six more areas – three streets in An Lac commune (Binh Tan district) and three hamlets in Tan Hiep commune (Hoc Mon district) – under lockdown to stamp out new outbreaks there.

The city has detected a total of 1,346 coronavirus infections since April 27, making it the country’s current third largest COVID-19 hotspot. Its daily count of new cases has increased to three digits over the last several days.

The Ministry of Health announced that cases in HCM City were infected with the highly contagious Indian B.1617.2 variant, also known as the Delta variant. More local infections are expected in the city in the coming days./.