Hanoi Party leader warns against complacency in Covid-19 fight

By Vo Hai   April 11, 2020 | 03:00 pm GMT+7
Hanoi Party leader warns against complacency in Covid-19 fight
Two people riding bicycles in Hanoi are reminded by police officers not to exercise on the streets to comply with the nationwide social distancing campaign, April 9, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy.
Hanoi’s Party leader has warned residents that the complacency they have demonstrated over the last few days is unwarranted and dangerous.

Vuong Dinh Hue said that the images of Hanoians hitting the streets in large numbers over the past few days show that residents have become complacent in the Covid-19 fight.

At a Friday meeting of the city's Steering Committee on the Prevention and Control of Covid-19 on Friday, Hue said that in over a month since discovering its first case, "the city has basically contained Covid-19."

Hue expressed gratitude to the forces directly fighting the epidemic over the past month, especially doctors, the police, the military, Party officials and village leaders. He also thanked city residents for "sharing the difficulties" and seriously complying with the city’s and the government's epidemic prevention and control measures.

However, he warned that the Covid-19 epidemic could still develop in complicated ways as it has become difficult to determine the source of infection in the community, and criticized the complacency shown by a number of Hanoi residents who’ve been going outside in recent days.

"We absolutely must not be negligent or complacent. The closer we are to victory, the more arduous it becomes," Hue emphasized, adding that the decision to implement social distancing was "a difficult but very important one to prevent the epidemic."

He also voiced agreement with the Long Bien District Party secretary's opinion that the public must comply with social distancing instructions "as if it's wartime."

"The novel coronavirus is difficult to detect, easy to spread and does not exempt anyone. Therefore, during this time, loving each other means keeping your distance. This is the best way to stop the epidemic," he said.

Hanoi Chairman Nguyen Duc Chung repeated his call for people not to go outside except for essential reasons, and stressed again that "if just 10 percent of the people don't comply, then everything we've done and directed in organizing quarantines and social distancing would have no value."

Chung agreed with a proposal from Me Linh District officials that all nearly 11,000 residents of its Ha Loi Village, where several Covid-19 cases had already been discovered, are tested for the virus.

The city had already collected samples from nearly 3,000 residents, and would be conducting rapid tests at a number of markets and public places, he said.

Hanoi has also stepped up enforcement of social distancing, with authorities in Hai Ba Trung District's Vinh Tuy Ward issuing fines of VND200,000 ($8.58) each to 28 people for going out for "non-essential" reasons.

The violators, most of whom were residents of the Times City residential area, were found going out to exercise and violating social distancing regulations that the city had issued to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

"The population density in the area is very high due to the profusion of apartment buildings. The ward police have set up checkpoints around the area to remind people to comply with the measures the government and the city have taken," a Vinh Tuy Ward leader said.

As of Saturday, Hanoi had recorded 120 Covid-19 cases, of which 58 had been discharged. The city has only recorded five new cases over the past week, a fifth of the number recorded in the previous week.

Nguyen Khac Hien, director of the city's health department, warned that some of the new cases had traveled to many areas and met many people prior to being discovered.

Vietnam as a whole had recorded 257 Covid-19 cases as of Saturday morning, 144 of whom have recovered and been discharged from hospitals.

Globally, the Covid-19 pandemic has claimed over 102,800 lives as it spread to 210 countries and territories.

 
 
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