HCM City tightens countermeasures after new COVID-19 cluster detected hinh anh 1Taking samples for COVID-19 testing in HCM City's Go Vap district (Photo: hcdc.vn)
HCM City (VNA) - The Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee has ordered the temporary closure of hair salons and suspension of all religious events and ceremonies after a new cluster of 25 COVID-19 cases related to a Christian church in Go Vap district was found.

Religious establishments should not gather more than 10 people, Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong said at an online meeting of the city’s Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control on May 27.    

Street food stalls should only sell takeaway, he said.

He instructed the Department of Health to ensure social distancing in high-risk areas based on the scale of outbreaks, and said it should try to detect the source of transmission of the cases involving the Revival Ekklesia Mission.

Large-scale testing should be carried out in all areas with incidence of COVID, he said.  

The HCM City Hospital for Tropical Diseases should immediately carry out gene sequencing of the samples from the 25 patients, he said.

Secretary of the municipal Party Committee Nguyen Van Nen said since the spread has been rapid, local authorities should work with relevant agencies to stamp it out.

The public should be calm and pay attention to preventive measures, he said.

Nguyen Duy Tan, head of the religious affairs division at the city Department of Home Affairs, said the Revival Ekklesia Mission organises activities every Sunday.

According to the Department of Health, 67 people have been traced through contact tracing, all have been tested, and 23 have proved negative with the rest awaiting their results.

Nguyen Tri Dung, head of the city’s Centre for Diseases Control, warned that the virus could be present and spread in the community.

Phong instructed all apartment buildings and offices to tighten preventive measures and set up prevention and control teams.

Authorities in districts should strengthen fines on people not wearing masks, he added. 

The city also found nine crew members on the vessel Ashico Victoria, which arrived from India on May 26, testing positive for COVID. The ship anchored outside Sai Gon Port.

Phong ordered the Centre for Diseases Control and other relevant agencies to keep the ship under surveillance./.