Sep 14, 2021 / 16:25

Hanoi may relax Covid-19 restrictions after ramping up vaccination

Hanoi city has gone nearly two months under a citywide social distancing order starting July 24, the longest since the novel coronavirus first flared up in the country.

Hanoi is considering to relax the social distancing rules after September 15 and 21, especially as the capital city is ramping up coronavirus vaccination, according to the municipal Standing Party Committee.

Vice Chairman of the Hanoi People's Committee Nguyen Manh Quyen said that the city will decide on a plan to loosen restrictions on a number of services.

Hanoi has been carrying out large-scale testing and vaccine rollout for people aged 18 and over in order to put the coronavirus situation under control by September 15, Quyen cited, adding that the number of Covid-19 cases in the community has tended to decrease in recent days.

Streets around the Hanoi Opera House have been deserted during the period of social distancing. Photo: Thanh Hai

“After Hanoi finishes mass Covid-19 testing by September 21 and the number of cases in the community continues to decrease, the municipal authority will propose the relaxation of social distancing measures, only placing certain areas with high numbers of cases under lockdown,” Quyen told The Hanoi Times.

"If it is impossible to reduce the number of high-risk areas in the immediate future, the city can impose social distancing measures at different levels. High risk districts and wards should be under lockdown before the restrictions would be gradually lifted," he added.

The city’s authorities have also asked for the health ministry's detailed guidelines about travel, work and participation in Covid-19 prevention and control for fully vaccinated people, Quyen noted.

According to the Hanoi Department of Health, as of September 13, more than 4.7 million people had been vaccinated. Of these, more than 400,000 have got two shots.

From September 6 to 21, Hanoi has enforced strict lockdown under Directive 16 in ten metropolitan districts and partly in five others. The directive requires people to stay at home and not to go out unless for food and other emergencies.

The remaining districts are under restriction measures stipulated in Directive 15, which requires suspension of social events, bans gatherings of 20 people or more in one place and of 10 people or more outside workplaces, schools and hospitals. A minimum distance of two meters between people in public places should be ensured, it provides.

Hanoi has recorded 4,053 Covid-19 cases in the fourth wave starting late April. The capital city’s economy has suffered heavily from social distancing and travel restrictions over the past 50 days. However, the measures helped prevent the number of cases from exceeding the capability of the healthcare sector.