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Hanoi considers allowing fully vaccinated people to travel

Hanoi has asked the Ministry of Health (MOH) to give guidance on allowing fully vaccinated people to travel and participate in production and pandemic prevention activities.

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Hanoi Party Committee Secretary Dinh Tien Dung said the city police have been told to organize the issuance of travel permits to institutions, businesses and individuals in accordance with regulations in a quick and convenient way, ensuring strict social distancing in red zones.

The division of the capital city into red, orange and green zones, beginning in September, is based on the developments of the pandemic in the city and higher requirements for Covid-19 prevention and control. At the same time, business in industrial, handicraft and agricultural production areas need to be allowed to work to supply essential goods to "red zones".

In Zone 1, the zone with very high risks, it’s necessary to continue strict social distancing in accordance with the Prime Minister's Directive 16. The key task is restricting the number of people going out of the area to avoid the spread of the coronavirus.

The number of newly discovered positive cases in Zone 1 has decreased in recent days, but risks for community transmission still exist.

The police are using information technology (IT) in issuing travel permits to be sure that issuance is convenient for travelers. They have set up mobile checkpoints on some roads to tighten control over people going out.

In the first two days of the zonal inspection campaign, officers focused on disseminating the new policy and persuading people to be aware of the policy.

Dung called on organizations and businesses to re-organize their activities, intensify the work-from-home mode, and reduce the number of workers who have to go to the office.

Quarantine for close contacts

Dung said that the city would continue to promote large-scale vaccination and testing.

As of 6pm of September 4, the Ministry of Health had allocated 2.9 million vaccine doses to Hanoi, but the Hanoi Healthcare Department has received 2.4 million doses. With a capacity of 200,000 shots a day, Hanoi can vaccinate people soon after receiving vaccines.

To date, 2.2 million doses have been given, or more than 26 percent of the population. It is estimated that 150,000 injections are being given each day.

The healthcare sector has been told to prepare for the scenario of increasing the vaccination capacity in the fourth quarter, when a large amount of vaccines will arrive.

The committee has also asked to intensify testing, taking full advantage of social distancing days from September 6 to 21 to isolate positive Covid-19 cases from the community.

The testing should focus on isolated areas or very high-risk red zones once every 2-3 days. As for high-risk orange zones, testing frequency should be once every 5-7 days. The cases with symptoms of cough and fever in the community need to be tested and screened. Meanwhile, representatives of households in green zones will be tested to protect and expand green zones.

Dung stressed that while the vaccination rate in Hanoi is still low, the city needs to apply drastic measures to protect the lives of people and not let the outbreak get out of control.

Hanoi has made proposals to the Government and the Ministry of Health. It has asked the Government to give local authorities the right to determine the quarantine time for close contacts of positive Covid cases to ensure the safe protection of the community.

It has also asked MOH to allocate more vaccines to Hanoi, so that the city can obtain a high vaccination rate by September 15; and allocate Covid-19 treatment drugs and update therapies, especially new drugs.

The city has asked MOH to give guidance on allowing fully vaccinated people to travel and participate in production and pandemic prevention activities. 

Huong Quynh

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