Hanoi calls for stricter COVID-19 prevention measures hinh anh 1Taking samples for SARS-CoV-2 testing (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Hanoi’s authorities on August 18 issued an urgent dispatch, asking for stricter implementation of COVID-19 prevention and control measures following new cases of community transmission discovered in the capital city.

The municipal People’s Committee ordered leaders of districts, communes and wards across the city to mobilise people to take prevention measures, particularly wearing face masks and not gathering more than 30 people in public areas.

Those who have underlining diseases, the elderly and those at high risk of infection are encouraged to not go out unless really necessary.  

All citizens are required to make health declarations when experiencing symptoms of fever, coughing and breathing difficulties and go to the nearest medical establishments for further guidance.

The committee requested service providers, restaurants, bars and coffee shops to implement social distancing for customers by arranging seats at least one metre from each other from 00:00 on August 19. All staff are required to wear face masks and measure customers’ temperatures.

The municipal Department of Health is required to strengthen preventive measures, enhance contact tracing and testing to prevent further spreading of the disease among the community.  

A woman in Hanoi’s Tay Ho district is one of the new cases of COVID-19 announced by the Ministry of Health on August 18 morning, bringing the total number of local infections in the capital city to 11 since July 25.

Hanoi is striving to complete RT-PCT testing ahead of August 20 for 75,000 people who visited the central city of Da Nang – a COVID-19 hotspot – and returned to Hanoi from July 15.

The capital city has raised its COVID-19 alert level as it is currently at “very high” risk of coronavirus transmission.

On August 6, the municipal Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control convened a meeting at which Secretary of the city’s Party Committee Vuong Dinh Hue requested the activation of all prevention and control systems.

Priority was given to contact tracing, cracking down on illegal immigration, conducting large-scale testing, and assessing local capacity and demand for equipment.

He also ordered that relevant agencies safely organise the national high school graduation examinations, which were scheduled for August 8-10, and remaining district-level Party congresses before August 18.

The city was also set to prepare human and capital resources to support Da Nang and Quang Nam province in their fight against the pandemic.

To contain the spread of COVID-19, the administration has regulated penalties for 13 types of violation related to the disease prevention and control.

Notably, any people who do not wear face masks at public places will be fined up to 300,000 VND (13 USD). Those improperly dispose of used face masks at public places will be fined a maximum of 5 million VND, or up to 7 million VND if they litter pavements or roads with discarded face masks. Besides, those hiding the COVID-19 status of themselves or others will face punishments of up to 2 million VND.

Recently, many businesses and organisations have lend a hand to Hanoi in the fight against COVID-19.

Chairwoman of the municipal Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee Nguyen Lan Huong said the city has done well in containing the pandemic in the first and second phase, but the city is facing certain difficulties at present.

She said to ease the burden on the Government and the medical sector, the support of organisations, businesses and philanthropists is valuable.

On August 6, a meeting of the municipal steering committee for COVID-19 prevention and control unveiled that Hanoi was facing difficulties purchasing medical equipment for testing. Local authorities and health department have asked philanthropists to donate kits for Real-time – PRC tests.

All medical facilities in the capital are capable of testing between 9,000 and 10,000 samples a day./.