Hanoi will extend the ongoing social distancing order for two more weeks, starting from 6am on August 21 to 6am on September 6.
The information was released by Deputy Secretary of the Hanoi Party Committee Nguyen Van Phong at a press conference this afternoon [August 20].
Phong cited a report on Covid-19 prevention and control of the Hanoi People's Committee, which said that over the past 27 days under stricter social distancing, Hanoi has mobilized the entire political system at all levels to take part in the fight against the pandemic.
“The city has made full use of the time of social distancing to prevent the disease from spreading in the community,” Phong said.
Ta Hien street, one of the deserted streets in Hanoi’s Old Quarter amid the city's current Covid-19 social distancing order. Photo: Cong Tho
However, a number of locally-transmitted cases are still detected in some residential areas everyday while in the southern provinces, the pandemic outbreak is still widening. Besides, it is flaring up again in the city's neighboring provinces of Bac Ninh and Bac Giang.
Through extensive Covid-19 testing, Hanoi has identified very high-risk areas and very high-risk groups that must be timely controlled, Phong said.
He added that the city will make the most of social distancing days to quickly trace and isolate F0 cases (Covid-19 patients) from the community, cut off the source of infection in the community, and gradually control the pandemic.
Hanoi will continue to test all cases with symptoms of cough, fever, and difficulty in breathing and conduct large-scale testing in high-risk areas.
"The entire system and authorities at all levels must put pandemic prevention and control as the top priority, stop all activities that are not urgent or necessary," Phong cited the order.
He noted that the capital city will also speed up vaccination with priority given to frontline forces, foreign experts and workers, and people over 65 years old.
The citywide shelter-in-place order was issued under the Prime Minister’s Directive 16, which provides the country’s most stringent social distancing regulations, requiring residents to stay at home and only go out for basic necessities such as buying food or medicines or to work at factories or businesses that are allowed to open.
This is the second time that Hanoi is imposing such strict social distancing rules, the first being in April 2020, which lasted for nearly a month.
Hanoi city has recorded 2,644 local Covid-19 infections since the fourth coronavirus outbreak struck Vietnam in late April, according to the municipal Department of Health.
In addition, the opening ceremony of the school year 2021 - 2022 in the city will be held online.