Hanoi considers reopening certain businesses, allowing outdoor sports

By Tat Dinh, Vo Hai   June 19, 2021 | 02:30 am PT
Hanoi considers reopening certain businesses, allowing outdoor sports
People exercise outdoor near the Sword Lake in Hanoi, June 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy.
Hanoi is considering reopening certain businesses and allowing outdoor activities since the local coronavirus situation has largely been brought under control.

Hoang Duc Hanh, deputy director of the municipal Department of Health, on Saturday said the municipal People's Committee would consider relaxing certain Covid-19 control measures.

However, exactly when and which kind of businesses and services get to reopen have yet to be announced.

Hanoi's Party unit recently stated the city could reopen certain businesses and activities, as well as outdoor sporting activities with 20 people or less, but that the municipal People's Committee must carefully consider the timing and ensure all necessary coronavirus prevention measures are in place to prevent further outbreaks.

Tran Dac Phu, former head of the General Department of Preventive Medicine under the Ministry of Health, said whether coronavirus control measures could be relaxed or not does not depend on if a locality has gone 14 or 21 days without new cases. Each locality can decide on an appropriate time to do so, depending on their own unique situation.

"The coronavirus situation has been well controlled in Hanoi. It's time to relax certain activities to limit the impact on people's lives," said Phu, adding the city may consider reopening restaurants, food stalls and religious activities while still employing coronavirus prevention measures. Other services like beer stalls, karaoke parlors, bars or gyms should be opened last, he added.

However, Phu noted outbreaks within the country as a whole still exist, and Hanoi could still be harboring infected cases within the community.

"The reopening process needs to be done carefully along with strict supervision, or we would return to square one," he said.

Hanoi has recorded 465 local Covid-19 cases in Vietnam's latest coronavirus wave since late April, including 148 cases in two locked down hospitals. The capital has gone four days without recording a community transmission.

To fight the coronavirus, Hanoi had shut down non-essential businesses and services starting April 29, beginning with karaoke parlors and bars, then restaurants and cafes.

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