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Hà Nội starts social distancing at restaurants, halts festivals

Update: February, 05/2021 - 08:28


Testing COVID-19 at a school in Hà Nội. VNA/VNS Photo

HÀ NỘI —  Chairman of Hà Nội People's Committee Chu Ngọc Anh has requested districts and agencies to implement drastic measures, including halting all festivals, to fight the spread of COVID-19.

In an instruction sent to leaders of districts and agencies in the city, the chairman said all non-necessary festivals, religious ceremonies, sports tournaments and events which attract large crowds of people in public should be stopped from February 3.

They were asked not to organise year-end parties as well as those at the beginning of the Lunar New Year while activities like weddings or funerals should be held in a civilised manner, minimising the concentration of large groups and strictly follow pandemic prevention measures.

Hà Nội authorities ordered the closure of bars, karaoke parlours, online gaming and internet cafes until further notice, the instruction said.

For establishments in other services, they must ensure COVID-19 prevention and control measures in accordance with the regulations including providing protective equipment for their staff, measuring customers’ temperatures, providing hand sanitiser and keeping a safe distance.

Restaurants and cafes pose a high risk of infection, so it is necessary to arrange seats at least two metres from one another or allowing customers to sit at least a metre a part with partitions. Offering a takeaway service is encouraged.

The chairman of Hà Nội People's Committee also asked districts and agencies to call on residents not to go out unless absolutely necessary and comply with regulations on COVID-19 prevention. Accordingly, they are supposed to wear masks, frequently wash their hands with soap or sanitiser, and provide health declarations. If they have symptoms such as a cough, fever or difficulty breathing, they should immediately go to medical facilities for guidance, examination and treatment.

During the Lunar New Year holiday which falls in mid-February, Hà Nội authorities advocates restrictions on movement.

Passengers and drivers of public transport must follow prevention measures. A list of passengers should be compiled with full name, address and phone number for interprovincial transportation while ensuring a safe distance for passengers.

The instruction requested agencies to strictly observe the direction of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control in the spirit of “fighting the pandemic like fighting the enemy”. They were asked to be vigilant and implement measures to detect the source of transmission, promptly quarantine and thoroughly stamp out the pandemic.

Heads of agencies, organisations and units were directed not to hold meetings with large crowds when it is not necessary. Online meetings and the use of technology were encouraged.

Events that serve political and socio-economic purposes will be held when they are really necessary and must follow requirements on pandemic prevention. 

Expanding testing

In another move, Hà Nội will expand COVID-19 testing for F2 cases and those in quarantine and high-risk areas to prevent the spread of the pandemic, said Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Chu Xuân Dũng. 

During a meeting of the municipal Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control on Wednesday, Dũng suggested localities and units continue tracing and testing not only F1 but also F2 and F3 cases. 

A total of 46 new community COVID-19 infections were reported in Việt Nam on Thursday, bringing the national patient tally to 1,957. — VNS

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