|Collecting samples for COVID-19 testing of residents in a high-risk area in District 1, HCM City, on May 31, 2021, in wake of recent outbreak connected to a Christian mission. — VNA/VNS Photo Hồng Giang|
HÀ NỘI — The Ministry of Health has issued colour-coded risk guidance for localities to implement depending on their individual COVID-19 situations.
The measures are responses to different threat levels, with red being the highest level of threat of infection, followed by orange (high risk), yellow (medium risk) and green (new normal), on the epidemiologic map.
Code red is activated when a cluster of COVID-19 cases is detected but no apparent source of infection can be traced or the source is determined to be from an industrial park, school or supermarket.
Code orange is applied when there is at least one case without a known source of infection, or the source is a crowded place listed as part of a code red cluster situation or the commune is adjacent to code red localities.
Code yellow is activated when a community case has a known source of infection, there are direct contacts with confirmed cases in the community, or when a commune is next to code orange localities, or when the risk of the virus is high from illegal entrants or a large number of people at quarantine facilities.
At code green, individuals must follow the 5K message Khẩu trang (facemask) – Khử khuẩn (disinfection) – Khoảng cách (distance) – Không tụ tập (no gathering) – Khai báo y tế (health declaration), businesses and organisations must follow health ministry's COVID-19 regulations, while local authorities would carry out inspections and hand out punishments for offending individuals and organisations (including suspension of organisations' operations).
At code yellow, other than measures prescribed for code green, contact tracing, localised lockdown and quarantine will be carried out, while high-risk sites - bars, karaoke, dance clubs, massage venues - will be closed, and restrictions on large gatherings will be applied.
At code orange, additional measures will be implemented, including halting large gatherings of more than 30 people, no gathering of 10 people outside of the workplace, keeping a distance of two metres in public; reducing traffic and number of passengers on public transport vehicles; reducing people at workplace and promoting working from home; school curriculum and schedule could be adjusted, and health declarations would be required for all people in the locality.
At code red, social-distancing order will be carried out for at least 14 days; with the closure of non-essential services and businesses, cultural and religious, sports activities halted, people must keep a distance of two metres while gathering larger than three people outside the workplace or schools or hospitals are forbidden, while public transport is stopped completely.
Minister of Health Nguyễn Thanh Long said: "From our experience dealing with previous outbreaks of the coronavirus and especially with the current fourth wave of infections, the decree established a number of protocols such as lockdown measures or more flexible approach to centralised quarantine requirement in areas with a large population that might make it difficult to control the spread or to manage overcrowded centralised quarantine facilities."
Local People's Committees will be responsible for assessing the level of threat faced by local communities and deliver appropriate responses.
In the case of a total lockdown at provincial or municipal levels, local People's Committees must inform the central Government to coordinate with neighbouring localities to ensure the flow of goods.
The decree is part of the country's effort to fight the pandemic while keeping the adverse effect on the economy at a minimum.
The decree will be continuously updated and revised to reflect the current situation and capacity of localities in a bid to arrive at an effective COVID-19 prevention and control model. — VNS