Vietnam capital Hanoi to ease coronavirus (Covid-19) curbs this week


A barrier is pictured in a quarantine area amid Covid-19 pandemic in Hanoi. On Monday (Sept 20, 2021), Vietnam govt announced that its capital Hanoi will further ease its coronavirus restrictions from this week with new cases on the decline. - Reuters

HANOI, Sept 20 (Reuters): Vietnam's capital Hanoi will further ease its coronavirus restrictions from this week, the government said, with new cases on the decline and the majority of its adult population partially vaccinated.

Most construction projects can resume from Wednesday (Sept 22), authorities said late on Sunday, adding further easing would follow, with average new daily cases down to just 20.

So far 94% of Hanoi's adult population of 5.75 million has received one shot of a Covid-19 vaccine, with the aim of completing second doses by the end of November, said deputy chairman of Hanoi's ruling People's Committee, Duong Duc Tuan.

"We can't maintain the social distancing measures indefinitely," Tuan said in a statement.

As of September 15, almost 70 per cent of Hanoi's population has been administered with the vaccine, with 93 per cent of residents receiving at least one shot.

The city has conducted large-scale testing on 4 million people to filter F0 cases and reduce community cases. After the mass testing, the city has narrowed down testing areas.

According to the city’s authorities, those aged over 18 will receive the second vaccine jabs by November.

Hanoi has escaped the brunt of a fierce wave of coronavirus infections in Vietnam since late April, recording less than 50 of the more than 17,000 COVID-19 deaths nationwide, and just 4,414 of the country's total 687,000 cases.

Epicentre and business hub Ho Chi Minh City, more than 1,500 km (932 miles) away by road, has been the hardest hit, with 49% of the country's cases and 78% of its fatalities.

Hanoi became busier last week after authorities removed dozens of checkpoints and allowed restaurants to offer takeaway services.

Tuan said the city's approach will be flexible and scientific, aimed at containing the virus while reviving economic activities. -

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