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Hanoi mayor urges stock of 20 million medical masks for possible nCoV outbreak

The city's leader requires the health sector to be well-prepared for the worse situation.

Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Chung has urged city agencies to store between 15 and 20 million medical masks to cope with the possible outbreak of a new deadly coronavirus (nCoV) in the context that the city has confirmed two people positive with this virus.

Mr. Chung said at a meeting on January 30 that the municipal Department of Health needs to check the production of medical masks to ensure sufficient quantity for the city of eight million people.

Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Chung at the meeting on Jan 30. Photo: Zing



In case of disease outbreak, the masks would be delivered for free to local people, local media quoted the mayor as saying.

He asked related agencies to equip more hospital beds, isolation areas, and facilities to receive new patients.

Notably, Mr. Chung required the Department of Education and Training to conduct disinfectant sprays at 3,000 schools citywide before this Sunday [February 2].

“The Department of Tourism needs to work with tourist firms to stop receiving all visitors from epidemic-hit areas as required by the Prime Minister [Nguyen Xuan Phuc] that we must keep our people safe even at the expanse of economic benefits," Mr. Chung said Thursday.

Chung noted that the city needs to check and ban the trading of wild animals and check safety at festivals and massive public gathering.

He warned that Hanoi might cope with this outbreak in months, requiring the health sector to be well-prepared for the worse situation.

The 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), a new respiratory virus first identified in the Chinese city of Wuhan has been found in Vietnam a week ago at two Chinese tourists who are a father and son duo. The 28-year-old son is now tested negative with the nCoV while the father is recovering.

As of January 30, Vietnam confirmed three Vietnamese nationals tested positive with the nCoV. They returned to the country from Wuhan on January 17.

Meanwhile, the number of people infected with the nCoV has risen to 7,771 in mainland China and more than 100 confirmed cases outside China as of Thursday morning. hanoitimes

Linh Pham

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