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Apr 07, 2020 / 16:43

Hanoi mulls extending social distancing period: Mayor

A longer stay-at-home period is believed to enable Hanoi to better identify infected cases and contain the virus.

Chairman Nguyen Duc Chung of the Hanoi People’s Committee has said that the city may consider extending the ongoing two-week social distancing period that will end on April 15.

 Chairman Nguyen Duc Chung of the Hanoi People’s Committee

The city’s mayor made the announcement after a man was confirmed positive with the new coronavirus 23 days after he accompanied his wife to Bach Mai Hospital, the largest coronavirus epicenter in Vietnam, for a medical checkup.

This case has triggered concerns over risk of community infection and a longer stay-at-home period would help to reduce the risk, officials said at the city’s meeting on Monday.

The local government encourges people who either live in high-risk areas or made contact with infected people to stay at home for another 14 days.

So far, Hanoi has identified more than 20,000 people who were at Bach Mai Hospital after two nurses of the hospital were found positive with the virus, Chung said at the meeting.

To better prevent contagion in the community, Chung said the city will take more coronavirus tests citywide as the sources of infection in Hanoi include overseas Vietnamese nationals, cross-infection in the community, and at medical stations (with secondary transmission).

Over the past time, Hanoi has taken more than 8,000 quick tests for coronavirus in the community, according to Director of the municipal Department of Health Nguyen Khac Hien.

According to the mayor, the Ministry of Health has provided Hanoi with 300,000 made-in-South Korea quick test kits. The kits are donated by Vingroup, one of the leading private conglomerates in Vietnam.

Stressing the importance of medical equipment, Chung told municipal agencies to work together to ensure the smooth supply of medical equipment and asked the Department of Health to hold biddings for consumables for the health sector. The city will finance the purchases.

As of Tuesday morning [April 7], Hanoi remains the leading localities in number of Covid-19 patients with 112, including 39 convalescents. Ho Chi Minh City ranks second with 53 patients, including 22 cured.