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Hanoi confirms new Covid-19 cases of UK variant, drastic actions urged
Anh Kiet 17:53, 2021/02/02
Hanoi is required to take tougher measures as the pandemic fight in the city might take longer than expected.

Hanoi will enhance treatment and testing capacity in cooperation with the health ministry to curb the spread of Covid-19 transmission caused by UK variant.

Chairman of the Hanoi People's Committee Chu Ngoc Anh said at the working session on February 1 with Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long.

Echoing with Mr Anh, the health minister said “Hanoi needs stronger measures to contain the infection despite its efforts to put affected areas on lockdown as the fight against the pandemic there might take longer than expected."

 Chairman of the Hanoi People's Committee Chu Ngoc Anh speaks at the working session. Photo: Kinhtedothi.vn

Mr. Long made the statement after Hanoi confirmed new cases of the UK variant that is more contagious. 

He said that the new wave of Covid-19 in Vietnam is fast-spreading partly due to UK variant while the source of the transmissions has not been identified yet.

The strain is more contagious and has a shorter incubation period, and as a result, in less than a week 276 cases have been recorded.

"The new virus mutant can be transmitted through the air and therefore we need to follow regulations on masking up. Those who violate the regulations must be severely punished," Mr. Long said.

Accordingly, he has instructed local authorities to limit gatherings, especially in closed, air-conditioned venues.

 Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long addresses the working session. Photo: Kinhtedothi.vn

Hanoi's actions 

Speaking at the meeting, Mr. Ngoc Anh said Hanoi has asked ten city-level hospitals together with the Hanoi Center for Disease Control (CDC) to conduct coronavirus tests with a maximum capacity of more than 5,000 samples per day.

He added that Hanoi has also set up five inspection teams led by leaders of the municipal Party Committee to urge quick and drastic measures in Covid-19 prevention and control across the city.

Meanwhile, the city expects to receive the ministry's support for better testing capacity.

So far, the health ministry has supported Hanoi in testing over 40,000 samples and Mr Anh expects the ministry to help Hanoi in contact tracing in the coming time. 

Hanoi authorities decided to shut down all bars, karaoke parlors, discotheques, game and internet service outlets and local residents have been told to avoid non-essential gatherings from February 1.

The city also decided to allow more than two million students from kindergartens to high school to stay at home, starting from February 1, and attend classes on line.

Earlier, the local authorities required all festivals and events for Tet holiday, Vietnam's biggest and longest holiday, to be canceled.

Relevant agencies would regularly provide guidance on preventive measures and supervise their compliance, notably the five-measure message of wearing face masks, frequent disinfection, maintaining a safe distance, refraining from gathering, and making health declarations.

Vietnam has recorded more than 270 community transmissions in 10 provinces, including Hai Duong, Quang Ninh, Hanoi, Bac Ninh, Hoa Binh, Binh Duong, Ho Chi Minh City, and Haiphong, since its latest outbreak which began last Thursday. 

TAG: new Covid-19 cases UK variant authorities drastic actions pandemic
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