Hanoi faces high risk of Covid-19 spreading, officials warn

By Chi Le, Vo Hai   May 25, 2021 | 04:11 am PT
Hanoi faces high risk of Covid-19 spreading, officials warn
People wait to make health declarations in Hanoi, May 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy.
The capital city is seeing new Covid-19 clusters spring up even before it has put existing ones under control, health officials say.

In the past week, the city has detected 17 infections at four new clusters.

Of these, 15 are linked to a cluster at the T&T Group in Hoan Kiem District and the Park 9 Block of the Times City residential area in Hoang Mai District. For now, the source of transmissions for these clusters has not been established.

Among the other cases, two are an Indian mother and her child who live in Park 9 of the Times City residential area.

They had already finished their mandated quarantine of 21 days at a centralized facility in Hai Phong City, and isolated themselves at home for seven days. Last Saturday, they visited a Vinmec hospital to run the test in line with the quarantine protocol and were found positive.

Of the two remaining cases, one is a doctor who treats Covid-19 patients at the Bac Thang Long Hospital and the other is linked to another hotspot in the nearby Hai Duong Province.

In most cases, the patients have visited different places and have had contact with many others in different places before they were confirmed with the virus, and it is likely that more cases linked to them will be found in the coming days, Hoang Duc Hanh, deputy director of Hanoi’s Department of Health, said at a meeting Tuesday.

Hanoi’s neighbors, the provinces of Bac Giang and Bac Ninh, have continued to witness the complicated development of their own community hotspots. The two are now having the highest infections of all 30 infected localities, with 1,156 and 507 cases, respectively.

Many residents of Hanoi work in these two provinces.

The managing director of Hosiden Viet Nam Co. Ltd in Bac Giang lives in the Mandarin Garden residential area in Hanoi’s Cau Giay District. He was announced a Covid-19 patient last Friday.

A driver working for the Supreme People's Procuracy of Vietnam, who lives in Bac Ninh, was confirmed with Covid-19 two days ago. The chief of office who came into contact with the driver has tested negative, but three people in his family in Hanoi have contracted the virus.

Meanwhile, infections are yet to be contained at clusters that developed in Hanoi since the new wave broke out on April 27. Some of the clusters continue to add new infections of people related to previously confirmed patients.

Hanoi has had 17 different samples of Covid-19 patients decoded and all have been confirmed to be infected with the Indian strain B.1.617.2, which is said to spread faster and pose more danger than other strains.

Hanh said the source of transmission is in the community and "the risk is high for the city," adding that more stringent measures were needed to stop the spread of virus infections.

The city has ordered food and beverage establishments as well as hair salons and beauty parlors closed, starting Tuesday.

Food and beverage places can only allow takeaways and residents have been told to "absolutely stop" entertainment activities, physical exercises and large gatherings in parks, gardens and public locations.

Hanoi Party chief Dinh Tien Dung said Tuesday that a citywide social distancing order is not in the picture yet. For now, the city will continue with the method of isolating only affected areas.

Hanoi has so far reported 316 cases in the new Covid-19 wave. Of these, 137 have been detected in two hospitals under lockdown – the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases and the K Hospital that specializes in cancer treatment.

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