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Hanoi now in decisive week of COVID-19 fight: chairman

Hanoi will continue social distancing until at least April 22 under the Prime Minister’s directions, Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Chung said on April 15, noting that the city is currently in the decisive week of the COVID-19 battle.

At the meeting of the city’s steering committee for COVID-19 prevention and control, the official said Hanoi is controlling the pandemic well thanks to strong efforts by its political system and people.

However, he noted, it still faces high risks of virus transmission with two major hotspots in Bach Mai Hospital and Ha Loi hamlet of Me Linh commune, Me Linh district.

Chung asked for communications activities to be increased further so that locals will better comply with the PM’s Directive 16 on urgent measures against COVID-19, stressing only when people abide by this directive well can the pandemic be eradicated.

He said as detecting infections is the most important task, testing is of utmost importance to find out infected people early and prevent the coronavirus from spreading. Therefore, all suspected cases must have their samples taken for diagnosis opportunely.

All people with cough and fever must inform local healthcare facilities to have testing, according to him.

To implement Directive 16, the chairman also requested the police force of Hanoi to coordinate with district-level medical centres to maintain 30 checkpoints at the city’s gateways to disinfect vehicles, examine commuters’ body temperature and deal with those not wearing face masks.

This week will decide whether COVID-19 will break out on a large scale in Hanoi, so the forces must stay on guard around the clock to receive information from people, collect samples for testing and take response measures if there are new patients, he added.

Director of the municipal Department of Health Nguyen Khac Hien reported that as of 4pm of April 15, the city had recorded 114 COVID-19 cases, 66.6 percent of which did not show symptoms and were discovered via testing./