Quang Ninh imposes social distancing in Van Don, lockdown in Cai Rong hinh anh 1Medical workers take a swab from a resident in Van Don district for COVID-19 testing (Photo: VNA)
Quang Ninh (VNA) – Northern Quang Ninh province has decided to put its Van Don district under social distancing and Van Don’s Cai Rong town in lockdown from 12pm on January 30 to 12pm on February 21.

Social distancing measures include maintaining a physical distance between people, wearing face masks, and performing sanitation and disinfection work in line with regulations.

The decision came after a 32-year-old woman in Cai Rong tested positive for COVID-19. She had close contact with Patient No. 1,553 – an employee at Quang Ninh’s Van Don International Airport who was confirmed infected on January 28.

In a dispatch issued on January 30, the provincial People’s Committee has asked locals to stay at home and only go out when necessary to buy food, medicines, and go to hospital, or in other emergency situations. They are also requested to keep a distance of at least 2 metres away from each other and avoid gatherings of more than two people outside the workplace, hospitals and public areas.

In a bid to curb the spread of the pandemic, the province has to date imposed social distancing on two localities – Van Don and Dong Trieu town, while having five communes and districts – Binh Duong, Thuy Sinh, An Sinh, Nguyen Hue, and Cai Rong – are put in lockdown over links to the two COVID-19 hotspots – Chi Linh city in the northern province of Hai Duong and Van Don airport.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Transport has ordered the suspension of all passenger and cargo flights from/to Quang Ninh.

In addition, authorities of Quang Ninh and its neighbouring province of Hai Duong were asked to decide on the halt, delay and adjustment of the frequency of intra- and inter-provincial passenger road transport in accordance with the real situation, except for official purposes and necessary cases.

The flow of private vehicles was also requested to be minimised, while the transportation of goods and materials must be maintained.

They were also ordered to re-schedule the frequency of waterway transport. Meanwhile, inter-provincial passenger trains will not stop at stations in the two provinces to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The order, however, does not apply to cargo transport trains.

The halt of flights and passenger trains to Quang Ninh started from 12 pm on January 28 until further notice.

The Ministry of Transport on January 28 also decided to close down Van Don International Airport in Quang Ninh for 15 days after many locally-transmitted cases of COVID-19 was confirmed on the same day.

The closure lasted from 12 pm on January 29 to 12 pm on February 13.

Earlier, in a bid to prevent the spread of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, the Northern Airport Authority imposed a 24-hour shutdown on the airport starting at 12 pm on January 28.

On January 27 night, the Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control of Quang Ninh held an emergency meeting to immediately activate disease prevention measures at the highest level in the locality after one locally-transmitted case of coronavirus was confirmed the same day.

Chairing the meeting, Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Tuong Van ordered local authorities to focus all human resources on contact tracing and screening to the F4 level, and carrying out testing for all those who are on the list.

Schools at all grades would be closed for a week, beginning from January 28, and public gatherings must be minimised.

Local authorities were requested to cancel unnecessary meetings, and pay heed to preventing the disease.

The provincial Department of Transport would coordinate with relevant departments, sector and localities to immediately set up epidemic control stations along roads, especially those linking with Hai Duong province, where another new case of community infection was also recorded.

Van stressed that all prevention measures must be implemented in the most drastic and proactive way, adding that medical supplies and equipment must be readied in order to cope with the worst case scenarios.

The provincial transport department suspended all inter- and intra-provincial activities on land and waterway as from 6am on January 28./.