Hanoi set to ease social distancing restrictions

By Vo Hai   September 13, 2021 | 07:54 am PT
Hanoi set to ease social distancing restrictions
A woman walks on a deserted street around the Sword Lake in Hanoi downtown amid the city's Covid social distancing order, July 24, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy
Hanoi is considering easing social distancing requirements after September 15 and 21, depending on risk classifications of different areas.

The city will decide a plan to relax social distancing rules for a number of services and Covid prevention measures after the days, the Hanoi Standing Party Committee said at a meeting on Monday.

Khong Minh Tuan, deputy director of the Hanoi Center for Disease Control (CDC), said the Covid situation in the capital is "basically under control" and the number of Covid-19 cases in the community has tended to decrease in recent days.

Tuan said after Hanoi finishes testing its entire population, if the number of cases in the community continues to decrease as it is doing now, the CDC will propose the relaxation of social distancing measures, only locking down certain areas with high numbers of cases.

"It is not possible to reduce the number of high-risk areas in the immediate future. However, the city can impose social distance measures at different levels. High risk districts and wards will still need to be under lockdown before the restrictions are gradually lifted," he said.

In its efforts to put the coronavirus situation under control by September 15, the city has been carrying out large-scale testing and administering first doses of the Covid-19 vaccine for people aged 18 and over.

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

Starting September 6, Hanoi has enforced strict lockdown under Directive 16 in 10 districts and partly in five others.

Directive 16, considered the most stringent, requires people to stay at home and not go out unless it for food and other emergencies.

The remaining districts are operating under Directive 15. This 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 orders.

The capital city has recorded 4,053 Covid-19 cases in the fourth wave starting late April, with 41 added Monday.

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