Besides screening all direct and indirect contacts with confirmed COVID-19 transmissions, Hanoi will also implement testing for all citizens who returned from Chi Linh City of Hai Duong Province since January 14.
The Hanoi City People’s Committee summoned an emergency meeting on COVID-19 prevention on Thursday, with Vuong Dinh Hue, secretary of the Hanoi Party Committee, as the chairperson.
As of Thursday afternoon, Hanoi had not reported any direct transmission from patient 1,552, a COVID-19 case detected in Hai Duong Province’s Chi Linh City, according to Nguyen Khac Hien, director of the Hanoi Center for Disease Control.
Meanwhile, patient 1,553, another newly-announced COVID-19 case in Quang Ninh Province, was identified as the direct source of transmission for 11 patients in Hanoi, who reside in districts of Ha Dong, Thanh Tri, Ba Dinh, Bac Tu Liem, Hoang Mai, Nam Tu Liem, Thanh Oai, Thuong Tin and Chuong My.
Ten of these cases were sent to quarantine at the Hanoi Municipal Police Hospital, while one is returning to the city from Son La Province.
Meanwhile, the Hanoi Center for Disease Control is maintaining a testing capacity of 3,000 samples per day, which can be pushed to 10,000 per day if necessary.
The meeting also discussed the case of D.T.C., 26, from Hanoi’s Gia Lam District, who rode a bus to Chi Linh City with his family members to pick up his bride-to-be for a wedding ceremony.
The group of roughly 50 members departed from Hanoi around midday of Thursday on three separate buses. On their way back to the capital city, they were joined by 23 members, including the driver, from the bride-to-be’s family.
“Upon being notified, we immediately ordered functional forces to cease the wedding banquet, collect personal information of everyone involved, and asked the 23 members of the bride’s family to return home,” a Gia Lam leader reported.
“Members of the groom’s family are also required to self-isolate to prevent transmission.”
“Functional forces also fumigated the wedding venue. The [Gia Lam] district also formed control posts around the groom’s house, and urged the city authority to perform tests on his family members.”
Leaders of Hanoi said they have ordered police of districts and wards having suspected COVID-19 transmission cases to heighten monitoring at high-risk areas.
By Thursday, three police officers of Ba Dinh District had been deemed at high risk of coronavirus infection after their duty trip to Quang Ninh Province, while four others had been suspected of transmission after coming in contact with high-risk individuals.
Prompt contact tracing
“Hanoi strives for fast responses but will always assume a proactive position and avoid panicking, as we have surmounted three similar challenges before,” Vuong Dinh Hue, secretary of the Hanoi Party Committee, said during the meeting.
According to Hue, the two epicenters – Hai Duong and Quang Ninh – are close to Hanoi with intensive transport and trade activities with the city.
Knowing this, all actions must be hastened and escalated to avoid failures in preventing transmission.
Hue required the whole administration system to step in, utilize local resources, ensure monitoring on a 24/7 basis, and form emergency response teams.
Leaders of each wards and districts can make decisions based on their authority and regulations to ensure immediate responses.
Hue also ordered strict adherence of COVID-19 prevention guidelines in medical institutions of the city.
The city will mobilize the whole administration system at an elevated scale, said Hanoi's chairman Chu Ngoc Anh.
The medical sector, as well as the Hanoi Center for Disease Control, are required to cooperate with authorities at grassroots levels to track returnees from epicenters.
“All returnees from outbreak sites from January 14 until now must undergo contact tracing. The city-level probe must be done within three days.
Test sampling for people who returned to Hanoi from Hai Duong’s Chi Linh City after January 14 is also required,” Ngoc Anh stated.
Vietnam has documented 1,657 COVID-19 cases as of Friday morning, with 1,448 recoveries and 35 deaths, according to the Ministry of Health.
The country had spent nearly two months detecting no local transmission before the new clusters were uncovered.