The Government should weigh the pros and cons of the resumption of air and rail passenger transport to Hanoi as the city is still at high risk from the novel coronavirus outbreak, said Deputy Secretary of the Hanoi Party Committee Nguyen Van Phong.
Phong was speaking at a recent online conference hosted by Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh. He stressed that although the capital city has basically put the pandemic under control, there still remain Covid-19 carriers detected in the community.
He made the proposal as the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) last week suggested resuming domestic flights in a safe manner, basing on the levels of Covid-19 risks, with a view to maintaining air transport, promoting economic recovery for localities, and removing difficulties for businesses.
The deputy secretary noted Hanoi would enforce Covid-19 regulations in a stricter manner to prevent the spread of the pandemic, adding that stronger punishments must be given to those who deliberately violate the pandemic countermeasures.
"Masks wearing is inevitably mandatory in public. People must maintain a distance of two meters from one another in public, and groups larger than two outside of hospitals, workplaces, or schools are banned," he said.
Phong also asked the Government and agencies to allocate sufficient vaccines to the city as it is planning to administer the second dose of vaccine to its people in late October.
Deputy Secretary of the Hanoi Party Committee Nguyen Van Phong speaks at the meeting. Photo: The Hanoi Time
People are required to submit health declaration forms via website www.tokhaiyte.vn or Ncovi and Bluezone apps. Those who have symptoms such as fever, coughing, or difficulty breathing must contact local medical establishments for further instructions.
The deputy secretary cited that where there is an active engagement of the people, the Covid-19 prevention measures would be effective.
He emphasized that during the 4th Cocid-19 outbreak, Hanoi had confirmed more than 4,000 coronavirus patients, only 500 cases were hospitalized. Nevertheless, Hanoi has proactively prepared scenarios to deal with 40,000 Covid-19 patients.
The city is also ready in terms of human resources, medical supplies, oxygen sources, equipment, and machinery if the pandemic gets worse.
Hanoi always follows the direction of the Prime Minister on large-scale Cocid-19 testing and immunization. The rapid screening test has proven to be effective and helps Hanoi relax social distancing, allowing many services to be re-opened.
Besides, the city has stepped up communication work to make people aware of the effects of vaccination. As the result, the immunization campaign has been smooth thanks to the involvement of local residents. At its peak, in just one week, the city administered vaccines to more than 3.5 million people.
Another experience, according to Phong, is to strongly apply information technology to pandemic prevention and control.
The city has established mechanisms to detect infected people and those at risk of infection in order to quarantine them as quickly as possible. At present, attention is paid to monitoring cases related to Covid-hit districts.
The municipal authoritíe have also built a treatment plan in case of a surging number of patients, Phong stressed.
The image of Hanoians flocking into streets at night to enjoin the Mid-Autumn Festival last week has hurt many people who are striving to protect people from the Covid-19.
Bustling streets in downtown Hanoi at Mid-Autumn Festival night (September 21). Photo: Khanh Huy
It happened after the municipal government just eased travel restrictions around the city one day ago.
"If numerous people flocks to the streets like it happened at the Mid-Autumn Festival night, Hanoi's pandemic prevention efforts may have been struck a blow," Nguyen Trong Khoa, deputy director of the Department of Medical Examination and Treatment under the Ministry of Health, told The Hanoi Times.
The action is unacceptable, and risks affecting the overall good results that the city has achieved, meanwhile a number of Covid-19 cases in the community have not yet been found, Khoa stressed.
He said the pandemic may break out again when one F0 appears in the crowd that night. Hanoi is still implementing social distancing rules under Directive 15. It means that people are asked to stay at home and only go outside for essential trips.
Khoa added that the municipal government needs to implement measures to prevent these activities from happening again and to properly regulate vehicles and people on the streets, to prevent large gatherings.
As of September 27, Hanoi had recorded a total of 4,202 Covid-19 cases since April 27, with nearly 2,900 logged from July 24, the day the social distancing regimen was imposed in the capital city.