Hanoi resumes normal activities after social distancing order eased

Thursday, 2020-04-23 09:58:24
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Hanoi has been almost deserted for the three-week social distancing period which was ceased at 00:00 on April 23, 2020. (Photo: NDO/Duy Linh)
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NDO – Hanoi has basically resumed its normal socio-economic activities since the city ceased social restrictions from 00:00 of April 23, excluding the two districts of Me Linh and Thuong Tin.

>>> PM agrees to designate Hanoi a COVID-19 risk area, down from high-risk

The decision followed Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s thumb up to downgrading the capital city to a low-risk area for COVID-19 at a cabinet meeting on April 22. However, its outlying districts of Me Linh and Thuong Tin remain high-risk areas and must continue to strictly follow the PM’s Directive 16 on strict nationwide social distancing measures which started on April 1.

Following the PM’s direction, Hanoi authorities decided to cease social distancing from 0:00 today, except for Me Linh and Thuong Tin, announced Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Chung at a meeting of the Hanoi Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control on April 22.

According to Hanoi Department of Health, the disease is being put under control in the city with no new infections recorded since April 16. To date, Hanoi has confirmed 112 infection cases, of whom 81 have recovered.

The epidemic declining significantly in recent weeks and no new case reported in the outbreaks in Me Linh and Thuong Tin is a good sign, but local residents should still stay vigilant and strictly adhere to social distancing regulations, Head of the Hanoi Department of Health Nguyen Khac Hien suggested.

Hien informed that the two outbreaks are currently well under control with strict isolated measures. In the outbreaks, all close contacts with infected cases and nearly 14,000 locals have been tested and all are negative for the coronavirus.

Regarding quick testing at several local wholesale markets, Hien said, functional agencies have conducted rapid tests for 1,590 traders and labourers at the markets of Phung Khoang, Ha Vi, Long Bien, Nga Tu So, Den Lu, Yen So and Minh Khai and all have given negative test results.

Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Chung announces the ceasing of social distancing measures in Hanoi at a meeting of the capital city’s Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control on April 22, 2020. (Photo: NDO/Quoc Toan)

Chairman Chung said Hanoi has been downgraded from the high-risk infection group to a COVID-19 risk area. However, its two districts of Thuong Tin and Me Linh remain high-risk areas as they have yet to undergo at least 14 days without new cases detected. For Ha Loi Hamlet (Me Linh) and Dong Cuu Village (Thuong Tin), strict blockade measures should be implemented as in the previous days, Chung affirmed.

The city also decided that, despite the easing of restrictions, some non-essential business such as bars, karaoke clubs and massage parlours are still banned, while events gathering crowds and cultural and sports festivals are still halted. The local authorities also do not allow the reception for foreign visitors until further notice.

Restaurants and catering service shops are allowed to resume their operation, but they must ensure social distancing for their customers and install shields to prevent droplets, while local people have been order to wear face masks in public places.

From April 23 to 30, the city allows Hanoi Transportation Corporation and other transport service units to operate with a capacity of 20-30%. Taxis and ride-hailing cars are ordered to ensure epidemic prevention and control measures.

High schools are scheduled to reopen on May 4, while primary schools and kindergartens will reopen on May 11.