Hanoi will pilot to allow close contacts (F1) of Covid-19 patients (F0) to quarantine at home in an effort to ease pressure and reduce the risk of cross-infection occurring at concentrated quarantine centers, according to Secretary of the municipal Party Committee Dinh Tien Dung.
Under the plan, F1 cases living in ten wards in Nam Tu Liem District are allowed to be placed under home quarantine. Besides, Ha Dong District will apply the model for four groups of subjects who will be eligible for home isolation.
Dung stressed that coronavirus prevention measures must still be ensured, close contacts who could not meet quarantine standards either at home or in hotels must enter centralized quarantine.
“The municipal authorities will only allow people to begin their period of home quarantine after checking and confirming that they are eligible for home isolation. The management and supervision of F1 cases must strictly comply with all set regulations,” Dung said.
Secretary of the Hanoi Party Committee Dinh Tien Dung inspects Covid-19 prevention efforts in Hanoi’s outskirt district of Thach That. Photo: Thanh Hai
The Party chief noted that many local residents have a complacent attitude while business facilities do not strictly follow Covid-19 prevention guidelines, warning the risk of a strong coronavirus surge.
Dung asked residents to increase their awareness of the disease and called for an enhancement of healthcare capacity from the municipal to the local levels.
“The city would also prepare to increase the number of beds in districts and wards' medical facilities, as well as enlist both public and private hospitals to help,” Dung added.
Moreover, Hanoi has planned to increase the number of makeshift medical stations in areas with high coronavirus risks and lacking medical capabilities in a bid to treat asymptomatic F0 cases as opposed to taking them to hospitals.
Khong Minh Tuan, deputy director of the Hanoi Center for Disease Control (CDC) told The Hanoi Times that the above-mentioned moves come as Hanoi is preparing for a surge in the number of new cases.
“In the past few days, coronavirus situation in Hanoi has grown complicated with the growing number of fresh locally-transmitted cases which are both detected among the community and lockdown areas. It has so far recorded 16 coronavirus outbreaks, with a total of 289 new infections being confirmed on November 15 and 158 new cases on November 16, the highest daily figures in Hanoi since the start of the outbreak in Vietnam,” Tuan said.
He added that more new infections would continue to rise in the coming days as the coronavirus lurks within the community and many people returning from pandemic-hit areas fail to follow quarantine rules.
"The Covid-19 evolution in Hanoi is changing every day and is very serious, the ratio of close contacts and fully vaccinated people who get the disease are rising. However, people are becoming more negligent, not everyone is following coronavirus prevention measures, including businesses and services," the deputy director told The Hanoi Times.
In another move, the Hanoi People’s Committee has granted approval to a list of 12 hotels that will be paid isolation zones for F1 individuals who come into close contact with Covid-19 patients.
Muong Thanh Hanoi Grand is one of 12 hotels approved by the Hanoi People's Committee for F1 quarantine. Photo: Pham Hung
Accordingly, the designated hotels are located in the districts of Hoan Kiem, Ha Dong, Ba Dinh, and Soc Son and all F1 cases who wish to be isolated at these facilities must pay for their own quarantine and other related expenses.
In line with the proposal, local authorities will also be responsible for assisting and monitoring the quarantining process at each of the selected hotels.
The list of approved hotels includes Hoa Binh Hotel, Muong Thanh Hanoi Grand, Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi, Silk Path Hanoi Hotel, Hilton Garden Inn Hotel, Hilton Hanoi Opera Hotel, Binh An 1 Hotel, Binh An 2 Hotel, Binh An 3 Hotel, Grand Vista Hotel, Lake Side Hotel, and Muong Thanh Grand Xa La Hotel.
Previously, the Hanoi Department of Tourism and the Department of Health proposed the Hanoi People's Committee to allow a number of hotels providing medical quarantine for F1 cases who voluntarily isolate and pay for their quarantine costs.
Voluntary isolation at home as well as at paid facilities has been agreed upon by health professionals. Experts say that medical quarantine at home and hotels will help to share the burden and costs for the city as well as limit cross-infection when too many people gather in a concentrated isolation area.
Hanoi has recorded over 6,400 Covid-19 cases in the fourth coronavirus wave since late April. A total of 53 patients have died in the capital city during this time.
The city has administered around ten million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine to local residents. About 92.3% of the people aged 18 and above have been given at least one shot, accounting for 69.4% of its total population. Meanwhile, 55.4% of the people in the age group, or 41.6%, have been fully vaccinated.