An increasing number of residents in Hanoi have appear to have let their guard down amid surging COVID-19 cases, prompting authorities to take stronger action to ensure the compliance with pandemic prevention measures.
Prior to November, the capital recorded less than 100 infections a day.
Cases began to rise from early November and the city logged a daily jump of 289 cases on November 15.
From November 17 to 27, Hanoi documented between 217 and 286 cases each day.
According to the observation of Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reporters on Saturday, many residents and businesses in the Vietnamese capital seemed to be neglectful of prevention measures.
|Inside a café in Hanoi. Photo: Pham Tuan / Tuoi Tre|
Multiple cafés operated at 100 percent of capacity and did not require customers to file health declarations upon their arrival in accordance with regulations.
At crowded venues, a safe distance between each person was not likely to be maintained.
Some coffee shops even set up extra tables and chairs along the sidewalk to serve more guests.
A similar situation was also noticed at several eateries.
|A table is left empty to ensure a safe distance between customers at a coffee shop in Hanoi. Photo: Pham Tuan / Tuoi Tre|
Several major coffee chains did strictly follow protocols by requiring customers to fill out health declarations and sanitize their hands before entering, as well as leaving multiple tables empty to ensure a safe distance between the guests.
At Big C Thang Long Supermarket in Cau Giay District, customers had to scan a QR code for health declaration and have their body temperature measured at the entrance.
However, they did not care much about keeping a minimum distance from others when shopping inside, said Nguyen Thi Thuy Van, a 22-year-old resident.
Van admitted that many people have begun to ignore pandemic response measures.
|People line up in front of a supermarket in Hanoi to file health declarations. Photo: Pham Tuan / Tuoi Tre|
Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Chu Ngoc Anh recently issued an urgent document telling district authorities to conduct regular inspections to make sure everyone follows pandemic prevention and control regulations.
Nguyen Dinh Khuyen, chairman of Tay Ho District, stated that the local administration had established two special groups to remind residents to obey pandemic prevention and control regulations.
Those who persist in flouting these rules will be sternly penalized, Khuyen stressed.
The pandemic has become more complicated in the capital, as more cases have been detected with unclear infection sources.
It is important that residents and businesses raise their alert and strictly follow preventive measures, the chairman stated.
|A man scans a QR code to file a health declaration at a supermarket in Hanoi. Photo: Pham Tuan / Tuoi Tre|
Nguyen Anh Tri, a member of the National Assembly, expressed a similar opinion.
Hanoi has entered a new phase of pandemic prevention and control, Tri said, adding that authorities must raise residents’ awareness of pandemic response measures.
Locals must be more responsible, wearing face masks, filing health declarations, sanitizing hands, avoiding large crowds, and keeping a safe distance, the official elaborated.
Hanoi has recorded more than 9,400 local COVID-19 infections since the fourth wave hit Vietnam on April 27.
Nearly 6.5 million out of eight million people of the city have received at least one vaccine shot, with more than 5.5 million of them fully vaccinated, according to the national COVID-19 vaccination portal.