|Health workers collect samples for COVID-19 testing from residents of Nguyễn Du Street, Hai Bà Trưng District, Hà Nội on Saturday morning. — VNA/VNS Photo Minh Quyết|
HÀ NỘI — On Saturday, Chairman of Hà Nội People's Committee Chu Ngọc Anh issued Dispatch No.19/CĐ/UBND officialising the extension of lockdown measures city-wide until September 6 as COVID-19 situation remains complicated.
People are told to absolutely remain where they are to stop the spread and testing will be amplified to 'filter out' F0 (or positive COVID-19 cases) in the community and control outbreaks within the lockdown period.
“This is a critical juncture in the fight against the pandemic, and the city asks that each resident should see themselves as a soldier, and each family, each residential neighbourhood, each village, each commune a fortress against the pandemic,” the dispatch reads.
“One careless act of complacency at this time would have significant impacts on the city’s COVID-19 fight, and may result in further extension of social distancing measures, consequences to public health, social order and public security, and the economy.”
Local administrations are allowed to apply tougher measures (compared to the citywide measures) depending on the perceived risks to end the outbreak in the shortest time frame possible, while making sure people get sufficient access to essential items, food, medical services and vaccinations.
Inspections of all those businesses allowed to operate and people allowed to go outside (especially with regards to producing, transporting and supplying essential goods) would be strengthened during the lockdown period, and severe fines would be levied against offenders, the dispatch stressed.
Hà Nội will strengthen COVID-19 prevention and control measures at wholesale markets, markets, malls, supermarkets, and convenience stores, etc especially during the National Day (September 2) holiday and over the weekend.
The city’s police will continue to maintain checkpoints and mobile inspection posts to monitor public compliance with COVID-19 measures (especially in terms of checking permits).
The health department has been told to prepare for all scenarios, enhance contact tracing to avoid missing potential high-risks exposure given the highly transmissibility of the new variant of coronavirus, and make sure testing results are returned within 12 hours for those direct contacts at high-risk and 24 hours for the remaining people.
During the lockdown, the city’s authorities ordered relevant agencies to ensure undisrupted supply chains of the city and market stability, guarantee safety in delivering food and other essential goods to all residents (especially in locked down areas and quarantine facilities) so that no one is left wanting.
The Hà Nội Capital City High Command will coordinate with the Hà Nội branch of the Việt Nam Fatherland Front and local administrations in guaranteeing social welfare and stand ready to support people in other daily needs, increase quarantine facilities capacity to up to 70,000 and closely monitor the centralised facilities to prevent cross-infection and spread to the community.
People with difficulties or running into problems could call up the city's helpline 24 hours a day.
Earlier on Friday, the city's Party Committee said it has approved the city's plan to extend lockdown measures.
This latest protractment of the social distancing order would make the longest COVID-19 lockdown the capital city has ever enforced since the entire nation came under Directive 16 and completely shut its border earlier last year when the coronavirus reached pandemic status.
Since late April, the start of the fourth wave in Việt Nam, the capital city recorded over 2,500 cases of COVID-19, with almost half of them community-acquired infections.
As of today, Hà Nội has administered more than 2.3 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine – not counting the doses given by ministry-level hospitals and facilities headquartered here – and 41 per cent of the population above 18 years old have received at least one dose of vaccine. — VNS