Monastery in Go Vap under temporary lockdown due to new Covid-19 cluster

The Ho Chi Minh City Center for Disease Control (HCDC), on February 20, informed that it had just detected a new cluster of Covid-19 cases at a monastery in Go Vap District. The health sector quickly implemented infection control measures, notifying students for epidemiological investigation and testing.
Monastery in Go Vap under temporary lockdown due to new Covid-19 cluster ảnh 1

Previously, a secondary school in Ward 6 in Go Vap District carried out a screening test and found a student positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. This student, who is residing at a monastery on Duong Quang Ham Street in Ward 5, had symptoms of fatigue. On February 16, this monastery performed a screening test for all students, priests, and people residing there.

Fifty-four positive cases were detected through the rapid test, including 53 students and a priest. Realizing that there was an infection among students through daily activities at the monastery, the People's Committee and the Medical Center of Ward 5 quickly checked and instructed the monastery on how to take care of and treat Covid-19 patients and monitor F1 cases, ensuring pandemic prevention regulations. The entire monastery has been temporarily blocked. All people living there have been under health monitoring.

The house used for Covid-19 treatment is separated from the place where F1 cases are living. The schools related to these Covid-19 patients have also been notified for screening when the outbreak was detected. On February 17, five Covid-19 patients at the monastery were randomly taken samples for PCR testing, and ten were also randomly screened to monitor the Omicron variant.

According to the HCDC, the records of the Covid-19 pandemic surveillance system show that from February 12 to now, the number of new Covid-19 cases in the city has tripled, compared to seven days ago (from February 5 to 11). At the same time, the number of hospitalizations also tends to increase slightly. However, the number of seriously-ill Covid-19 patients is still decreasing, and that of deaths remains low. On February 19, two deaths were recorded, but they were patients from other provinces who moved to the city for treatment.

Monastery in Go Vap under temporary lockdown due to new Covid-19 cluster ảnh 2 A medical worker takes samples for Covid-19 testing. (Photo: SGGP)
The increase in the number of new Covid-19 cases in 22 districts and Thu Duc City had been predicted before the city restored production, learning, and social activities. Besides, the city has also detected cases of Omicron variant in the community. The Department of Health of HCMC has directed the HCDC to coordinate with health centers of districts and Thu Duc City to implement pandemic prevention measures in the community and schools, such as guiding educational establishments to disinfect classrooms, carry out the epidemiological investigation, and monitor the health of F1 cases to detect F0s early to minimize the spread of Covid-19. Besides, randomly taking samples of the group of Covid-19 cases for gene sequencing; performing testing for all F1s and monitoring health as prescribed; notifying schools with students at the monastery in Go Vap District for epidemiological investigation and testing of F1 cases. Moreover, the Department of Health held an urgent meeting with the Steering Committees for Covid-19 Prevention and Control of the districts with a high number of new cases to propose solutions to control the pandemic, in which the most important solution is vaccinating and protecting people in high-risk groups.

In the coming time, the Department of Health will continue to coordinate with the Department of Education and Training in implementing pandemic prevention activities in schools; strengthening surveillance to prevent the pandemic from spreading; organizing training on early detection and initial treatment of suspected cases of Covid-19 detected at schools for health workers and teachers of schools; coordinating with the People's Committees of districts and the dormitory management boards of universities to control and ensure the safety and Covid-19 prevention at dormitories; considering the proposal to establish a medical isolation area for students who are F0s and F1s; coordinating with the management boards of industrial parks and export processing zones to carry out Covid-19 prevention activities at production facilities, limiting disruption to production activities in the city.

The HCMC Department of Health has also directed the HCDC to deploy a plan to monitor the circulation of new variants to proactively have a response plan. Covid-19 vaccination activities should be maintained regularly to ensure that over 75 percent of the population in each ward and commune are fully vaccinated according to regulations of the Ministry of Health, and over 90 percent of people at risk are fully vaccinated.