Hanoi authorities have issued an urgent directive to strengthen the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, including capping public gatherings at 10 people.
Chu Ngoc Anh, vice-chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, signed the directive on Tuesday morning amidst the complicated and unpredictable developments of the pandemic over the last days.
Accordingly, gatherings of more than 10 people in public places outside of offices, schools, hospitals, and election points are banned, at a time when Vietnam is set to begin legislative elections at all levels on May 23.
The new limit is equal to one-third of the previous cap imposed by local authorities last month.
The city’s administration ordered authorities of all levels to boost their efforts to prevent the COVID-19 spread in the spirit of “fighting the epidemic is like fighting enemies."
Heads of districts, towns, wards, and communes must be the “commanders” on the anti-epidemic front, and must stay alert, flexible, creative, proactive, and quick in their fight against the pathogen, the directive required.
Any public officials responsible for COVID-19 prevention and control must not leave the city, except for special cases subject to permission of their superiors.
The local government also asked all agencies not to organize unnecessary meetings or events.
For essential events, only a half of the total seats in a hall or meeting room is used for participants, who are required to wear face marks, have body temperature checked, and keep two meters apart from each other.
Any indoor eateries must ensure a minimum seating distance of two meters, while all food and drink outlets around hospitals are allowed to offer takeout only.
Particularly, all eateries, grocery stores, and boarding houses in the areas around the hospitals with COVID-19 outbreaks, including the Dong Anh District branch of the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases and K Hospital’s Tan Trieu branch, must be temporarily shut down.
In the directive, municipal authorities also require tightening the pandemic prevention and control procedures at hospitals.
“Only one caregiver is allowed for every serious patient. No visits to patients are permitted at all hospitals,” the directive states.
Social distancing and lockdown must be applied when necessary under the instructions of health agencies, while COVID-19 testing capacity should be improved, the local government said in its directive.
It also required people to strictly comply with the jealth ministry’s 5K recommendations, namely 'Khau trang' (face mask donning) – 'Khu khuan' (disinfection) – 'Khoang cach' (distancing) – 'Khong tu tap' (no gathering) – 'Khai bao y te' (health declaration).
Vietnam has recorded 3,537 COVID-19 cases as of Tuesday evening, with 2,618 recoveries and 35 deaths, according to the Ministry of Health.
The country has documented 529 local infections since April 27, including 148 cases in Hanoi.
Authorities in the capital have decided to shutter all karaoke parlors, bars, discos and game centers from April 30 and movie theaters, massage parlors, spa services, and gym centers from May 5.
All students were required to stay home and switch to remote learning on May 4.