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Hanoi ready to welcome thousands home from COVID-19-hit areas

Hanoi ready to welcome thousands home from COVID-19-hit areas

Wednesday, March 18, 2020, 15:09 GMT+7
Hanoi ready to welcome thousands home from COVID-19-hit areas
The Phap Van - Tu Hiep student apartment complex in Hoang Mai District, Hanoi, Vietnam is seen in this undated photo. Photo: Le Hieu / Tuoi Tre

Hanoi chairman Nguyen Duc Chung has announced that Vietnam's capital has prepared plans to welcome large numbers of Vietnamese citizens returning from places hit by the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

According to Chung, the city’s authorities will establish more quarantine camps with several thousands of beds at local hospitals.

These inpatient quarantine camps will be fully equipped with medical equipment to treat as many people testing positive for the novel coronavirus as possible in the event that the number of COVID-19 patients surges.

In addition, the city will make use of military facilities to expand the scale of quarantine when needed as it braces for more returnees from COVID-19-affected regions.

Chung emphasized that these military quarantine camps are meant for precautionary isolation, not for treatment of COVID-19 patients.

The Hanoi Capital High Command has so far used six military facilities for quarantining returnees for 14 days from arriving in Vietnam.

The military facilities have received about 900 more citizens from Monday evening, and are set to be able to house another 700 people between Thursday and Monday next week, after the first batch of quarantined people finish their mandatory 14-day isolation.

“At present, units of the Ministry of National Defense are actively performing general sanitation and environmental disinfection [at these facilities],” said a leader of the capital high command.

In Long Bien District, the district’s chairman Nguyen Manh Ha told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that local authorities intend to employ uninhabited apartment buildings as quarantine zones.

Such apartment buildings can house an additional 2,000 people at a time.

“We’ve also run over the logistics of the plans and confirmed they are ready for implementation when the need arises,” Ha said.

Likewise, a student apartment complex in Hoang Mai District that can accommodate about 2,000 people, some vocational schools in Phu Xuyen and Chuong My Districts and Son Tay Town, and an old hospital in Me Linh District will also be converted into quarantine camps.

The novel coronavirus, which first emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019, has infected over 198,700 people and killed more than 7,900 globally, according to Ministry of Health statistics.

Vietnam has so far confirmed 68 cases of coronavirus infections, with 16 having fully recovered and been discharged from the hospital by February 26.

Fifty-two cases have been reported in the Southeast Asian country since March 6 after Vietnam had gone three weeks without any new infection.

Hanoi has had 15 COVID-19 patients to date.

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