HCM City issues guidelines for pandemic level assessment in all districts

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A vaccination site in Gò Vấp District offers third vaccine shots for frontline workers. The HCM City Health Department has issued guidelines for pandemic assessment in all districts and Thủ Đức City. — VNA/VNS Photo

HCM CITY — The HCM City Department of Health’s new guidelines for pandemic assessment in all districts and Thủ Đức City will be based on the rate of new cases in the community, vaccine coverage, and medical facilities’ treatment capacity.

The number of weekly cases confirmed by RT-PCR test results (recorded between Friday and next Thursday) will be sent by the city Centre for Disease Control (HCDC) to its health centre and announced by the Ministry of Health.

The number of new weekly cases excludes the number of imported cases, which are quarantined upon arrival.

The health centre will verify information about the cases such as address, phone number and test results and immediately respond to any data errors within 24 hours.

For vaccine coverage, the rate is based on the number of vaccinated people in a district (both permanent and temporary residents) regardless of vaccination location.

The People’s Committees of districts, Thủ Đức City, wards, communes and townships will submit this data to the Department of Health.

HCDC is responsible for checking the vaccination rates of wards, communes, towns, districts and Thủ Đức City.

The Health Department and HCDC will evaluate the vaccination rate in districts and Thủ Đức City and give them feedback.

The city began administering COVID-19 booster vaccine shots this month, with priority given to people aged 50 and over and frontline workers.

As for medical facilities’ treatment capacity, districts and Thủ Đức City must plan to maintain enough mobile medical stations and groups of medical workers to take care of COVID-19 patients in the community, and provide sufficient oxygen supply for potential outbreaks.

City districts and Thủ Đức City should report personnel shortages to the Department of Health.

They must also ensure a sufficient number of medical workers at different levels, provide more training to medical workers on testing, and improve their capacity in receiving and treating patients, especially in the ICU.

According to the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health, the number of new COVID cases in the community will be categorised into four levels based on the World Health Organisation’s guidance.

Level one will be for areas with fewer than 20 new cases per 100,000 residents; level two, fewer than 50; level three, fewer than 150; and level four, more than 150.

At level four, provinces and cities must establish treatment facilities and ensure a sufficient number of intensive care units (ICU), including both public and private.

The rate of adults who have received at least one dose will be divided into two levels, above 70 per cent or under 70 per cent.

The Department of Health will work with the HCDC to review the weekly reports on pandemic level assessment.

Since the fourth COVID wave beginning in late April, HCM City has had almost 500,000 cases, including nearly 20,000 deaths. — VNS

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