Those enter HCM City illegally may be sued: official hinh anh 1Vietnamese authorities return a violator (in black) to their Chinese counterparts (Photo:
HCM City (VNA) - Ho Chi Minh City’s Department of Public Security should work with the People’s Procuracy and the People's Court to sue individuals who illegally enter the city in a bid to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, said a top official.

Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong said at a meeting with district authorities on August 17 that since May, the city has detected 152 people entering the city illegally, including one person who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2.

This could be a serious source of transmission if the city does not control such entries, Phong said.

He instructed police to strengthen inspections and set up booths to check for people illegally entering the city.

Phong said that although the city had not recorded any new COVID-19 incidence in community in the last 15 days, the risk of an outbreak still existed because of the city's high population density and travel demands.

He told leaders of people’s committees in districts, communes, wards and towns and relevant agencies to remain vigilant because the outbreak in Da Nang had spread to 15 other provinces and cities in the country.

“We need to be more drastic in the implementation of preventive measures against the COVID-19 pandemic. If the city has new incidences of COVID-19 in the community, it will be dangerous because the city has high population density and busy economic activities, leading to more rapid transmission than other provinces and cities,” Phong said.

Local authorities and relevant agencies should prepare long-term scenarios to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic, he added.

The city has 15 COVID-19 patients being treated at hospitals, while 182 people have symptoms of a respiratory infection. The latter are being watched and tested at hospitals’ quarantine areas.

As of August 17, as many as 53,317 people who have returned from Da Nang have filled out health declarations. Six of them have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and 52,675 negative for the virus. The others are waiting for test results.

The city plans to expand screening tests for people coming from provinces and cities with a high number of COVID-19 cases, such as Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, and Hai Duong and Hanoi./.