|Large-scale testing is carried out at Việt Hưng Ward, Long Biên District on Sunday to trace positive cases. — VNA/VNS Photo|
HÀ NỘI — Hà Nội will remove travel permits for inner city commuters and not divide the city into three-coloured zones from September 21, Chử Xuân Dũng, vice chairman of the city People’s Committee, announced on Monday.
Lockdown will still be applied but on a reduced scale. The city’s authorities will apply technology to supervise mobility of residents and trace positive cases, he said.
The capital will loosen social distancing restrictions but continue to ensure strict COVID-19 protocols because the city still has some clusters in narrow alleys and densely-populated areas.
The priority target is to protect public health and strive to vaccinate all residents with a second dose, Dũng said.
Dũng asked the people, local organisations and businesses to uphold their responsibilities in observing COVID protocols.
Trần Ngọc Dương, deputy director of the city’s Police Department, said after September 21, the police would continue to maintain 55 COVID checkpoints including 22 expressway checkpoints at the city’s gateways and 33 other checkpoints at the entrances to other localities to control people leaving and entering the city, especially from high-risk areas.
QR codes will be checked at these points. The authorities will focus on testing people entering the city, tracing epidemiological history and asking for health declarations.
Vũ Văn Viện, director of the city Department of Transport, said they would consult with city authorities to continue to suspend operation of public passenger transport inside the city and from other provinces and cities.
Inner-city goods transport will continue to follow the direction of the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Transport.
The transport department is considering allowing ride-hailing app shippers to resume operation to meet public demand.
Nguyễn Văn Phong, deputy secretary of the city's Party Committee, said regular health declarations were key to tracing positive cases.
Hà Nội should not lower its guard against the pandemic because, he said, “the infection risk is still present” and the city cannot completely return to a normal life.
According to Trần Nhị Hà, director of the city's Department of Health, Hà Nội now has 10 new and complicated new clusters.
The number of daily cases in the fourth social distancing period (from September 7) has declined significantly compared to the first period.
Community cases decreased from 71.2 per day in the first social distancing period to 27.7 cases per day in the fourth social distancing period. — VNS