|Residents in Giáp Bát Commune, Hoàng Mai District, Hà Nội were tested for COVID-19 on September 4. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoàng Hiếu|
HÀ NỘI — Chairman of Hà Nội People's Committee Chu Ngọc Anh sent an urgent dispatch Monday to speed up COVID-19 prevention efforts in the capital city setting a September 15 deadline to bring the situation under control.
Health workers will conduct mass testing for "100 per cent of all residents in city" to "filter out" COVID-19 cases from the community between now and September 12.
All people in areas with dangerously high numbers of infections and locked down areas or quarantine facilities will be tested once every two to three days. People in high-risk areas to be tested once every five to seven days, and people in other areas should have at least one test.
Residents can self test but under the guidance and monitoring of health workers. Lab tests (RT-PCR method) and rapid antigen tests, as well as pooled testing will both be deployed.
After September 12, the city will continue to collect specimens to screen for COVID-19 threats.
Also according to the dispatch, the capital city also aims to give at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccines to 100 per cent of the adult population and administer second doses for the eligible people before September 15, with priority continuing to be frontline medical workers, the elderly, people with underlying health conditions, and pregnant women.
More vaccination sites are expected to be set up, with longer working hours lasting into the night, while procedures for vaccination will be streamlined, to meet the inoculation target.
As of Monday, Hà Nội has administered about 2.3 million vaccine shots (over 2 million first doses, over 200,000 second doses), about 24.97 per cent of the city's population and 33.98 per cent of the people above 18 years old.
Hà Nội will continue to enforce strict lockdown in high-risk areas, while commencing and preparing economic restarts in 'green zones' and 'yellow zones' (COVID-19 free and low but present risk areas, respectively) starting September 15.
After three successive stringent lockdown episodes for 45 days, the capital city is recording an average of 50 cases a day.
During the fourth wave of infections (since late April), Hà Nội has logged nearly 3,600 COVID-19 patients, with more than 1,500 found in the community.
According to the health ministry's criteria, 'under control' situation would mean no new clusters of infections in seven days, community cases trending down compared to the previous two weeks and decreasing by at least 50 per cent compared to the peak. — VNS