Hanoi started stricter social distancing measures for 15-days citywide from 6:00 Saturday morning [July 24] to curb the spread of Covid-19 that currently causes 10 infection clusters.
The restrictions are in line with Directive 16 that mandates stay-at-home orders except for emergencies and the purchase of essential goods like drugs and food. Only going out for duty and working in essential sectors is allowed.
|Deserted road in West Lake on the first day of the restrictions in Hanoi. Photos: The Hanoi Times|
It highlights the social distancing between people and families away from families. Locals are required to keep a distance of at least two meters. The gathering of more than two people in the public is banned.
Residents need to make medical declarations online at www.tokhaiyte.vn or through apps like NCOVI and Bluezone. They are advised to contact local authorities in case of having symptoms like fever, cough, shortness of breath, loss of the sense of taste.
It allows the operations of trade plazas, supermarkets, wet markets, convenience stores, mini shops, and groceries; drugstores; banks, state treasuries, securities, post offices, telecommunications, import-export logistics, drug rehabilitations, and social welfare establishments; funerals with attendance of no more than 20 people.
It also gives permission to the operation of companies in and outsides industrial parks with special notice given to safety measures, especially the “3 on-site principles” (on-site production, on-site eating, on-site rest) and “one route, two destinations” order (the only route from the work place to dorms).
Business executives have to assume responsibility for the implementation of precautionary measures and local authorities need to be responsible for the same duty before the higher management agencies.
It requires suspension of all public means of transport, coaches, waterways transport, and traditional and ride-hailing motorbike taxi, except for vehicles serving the anti-pandemic work, state mission, and workers and experts.
The work related to bridge repair is allowed with a notice on precautionary measures and no more people at the workplace.
Agricultural and farming production and harvest, and irrigation are required to maintain on condition that preventive measures are strictly followed.
It requires the closure of all non-urgent construction projects.
|A supermarket in Hanoi is full of essential goods.|
Supply of essential goods
To ensure sentiment in the restriction period, the city authorities affirmed the abundant supply of essential goods.
“The city has prepared enough food, foodstuff, and essential commodities so that people do not need to hoard goods. Going out unnecessarily at this time poses a high risk of transmission in the community,” according to the decision signed on July 23 by Chairman Chu Ngoc Anh of the municipal People’s Committee.
In the same move, Tran Thi Phuong Lan, acting director of the city’s Department of Industry and Trade, affirmed that the supply of essential goods, especially fresh food is abundant with the stockpiling in all supermarkets.
The body has built three scenarios on essential goods supply for the city in three months including the first worth VND314 billion (US$15 million) for the case of fewer than 1,000 infections, the second worth VND1.05 trillion ($45.6 million) for 1,000-3,000 infections, and the third worth VND5.3 trillion ($232 million) for the case up to 30,000 cases.
Nguyen Thi Bich Van, director of communications at Central Retail Vietnam that runs the Big C supermarket chain, said the network has increased by 30% dried food and foodstuff and doubled fresh kinds compared to the daily volume.
Meanwhile, AEON Vietnam Co., Ltd that operating AEON Malls have stockpiled 30% more dried food and foodstuff and increased by 200-400% the fresh items, according to Tran Thu Quynh, Northern Merchandising General Manager at AEON.
"AEON has worked with distributors to increase the supply in case of emergencies," Quynh said.
Hanoi had contained the virus for days before the resurgence of SARS-CoV-2 in the community on July 5. Since then, it has reported dozens of infections daily in almost all central districts. Since the flare-up of the ongoing outbreak in late April, the city has confirmed 884 infections.
The city has maintained 22 Covid-19 checkpoints at the entrance gates leading to the city.
This is the second time Hanoi imposed the partial lockdown over Covid-19. The first time happened in early April 2020 for nearly a month.