PM agrees to designate Hanoi a COVID-19 risk area, down from high-risk hinh anh 1Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the event (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc agreed to downgrade Hanoi to a COVID-19 risk area during a meeting of permanent Government members on April 22.

Its outlying districts of Me Linh and Thuong Tin, however, remain high-risk areas, and must continue to strictly follow Directive 16.

The PM lauded the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control, localities, especially Hanoi and HCM City, ministries, departments, and people nationwide for taking drastic prevention and control measures over the past three months that have secured encouraging results.

He highlighted the need to remain vigilant and live with the pandemic based on clear awareness.

Thanks to the social distancing order, no new infections have been reported for the past six consecutive days, which the PM described as a victory for the country to enter a new phase of long-term pandemic prevention while ensuring socioeconomic development.

Further social distancing must be exercised, he said, while trade, job creation, and socioeconomic development must be facilitated.

He reiterated the policy of actively treating infections, putting recently-arrived foreigners, patients, and those at-risk under quarantine, and promptly zoning off affected areas for the spraying of disinfectant.

The PM emphasised the “new normal” practices such as compulsory wearing of face masks in public places and maintaining a safe distance among people in regular activities, while continuing to advise people to refrain from going out or gathering in crowds. Those with a fever should stay at home and consult a doctor to prevent any spreading of the virus in the community.

He also agreed with measures being loosened in a cautious manner, as proposed by the steering committee.

For areas with high risk in Hanoi and Ha Giang, production should be facilitated on the condition of ensuring appropriate preventive measures.

Participants at the meeting also discussed issues regarding plans for educational studies and examinations in the future.

According to the Committee, Vietnam had 268 cases of infection as at 12am on April 22 and no new cases reported since April 17. Of the 268, 222 have fully recovered and 46 remain under treatment at nine health facilities. Twenty-one have tested negative at least once.

Regarding the “hotspot” in Ha Loi village in Hanoi’s Me Linh district, 13 people have been infected but no new cases have been reported since April 15. The entire village is under quarantine.

Regarding those related to patient 268 in northern mountainous Ha Giang province, 302 out of 358 samples tested negative and the remainder are awaiting results./.