Hai Duong tightens control of quarantined, lockdown areas to stem cross infections

The northern province of Hai Duong has ordered its provincial and district-level Steering Committees for COVID-19 Prevention and Control to tighten management of concentrated quarantine centres, lockdown areas and COVID-19 hospitals to prevent cross transmission.

Workers in Tan Truong Industrial Park, Cam Giang district, Hai Duong province wait to give their samples for COVID-19 testing on February 16, 2021. (Photo: NDO/Quoc Vinh)
Workers in Tan Truong Industrial Park, Cam Giang district, Hai Duong province wait to give their samples for COVID-19 testing on February 16, 2021. (Photo: NDO/Quoc Vinh)

There are 103 concentrated quarantine centres across Hai Duong at the present, including 29 in the hardest-hit Chi Linh city, 27 in Kinh Mon town, and 16 in Cam Giang district.

Secretary of the provincial Party Committee Pham Xuan Thang requested stricter preventive measures against COVID-19 in local lockdown areas and quarantined centres.

The provincial Party Committee’s Standing Board has also issued a directive assigning the local military to take up management of quarantine facilities accommodating more than 100 people, and cooperate with local authorities to manage those housing less than 100 people. The directive also asked Military Zone 3 to allow the use of military facilities and schools in Hai Duong for quarantine purpose.

As of 3:00 pm on February 16, the northern province confirmed a total of 539 COVID-19 cases across all 12 districts and towns. On February 16 alone, the province reported 40 new cases. Meanwhile, 64 patients have been given the all-clear.

Hai Duong implemented social distancing throughout the province from February 16 and provincial police coordinated with concerned authorities to set up 170 pandemic control stations all over the province.

The stations are responsible for controlling people and vehicles, measuring body temperature, reminding and handling cases of not strictly complying with pandemic prevention regulations. People are not allowed to go out unless in special circumstances.

From February 16, people entering Quang Ninh province must comply with regulations. People coming from the neighbouring province of Hai Duong and other outbreak hotspots will undergo concentrated quarantine which they will have to pay for, and enterprises welcoming workers back to the province after the Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday must organise COVID-19 tests for them. They are allowed back to work only with a negative result.

People coming from non-affected areas must have a negative COVID-19 test certificate before entering the province. In the absence of certificates, it is necessary to quarantine and undergo medical monitoring at home for 14 days.

For people from Quang Ninh who go to other localities, they are allowed to leave the province, but when they come back, they must comply with the same regulations as for everyone else.

At 12 control stations at border areas with other provinces and cities, electronic declarations are applied. People must present identity cards, citizenship cards or correspondence papers with their household registration books or temporary residence registers.

In Hanoi, local authorities have been tracing contacts of a Japanese man who was found dead in Somerset West Point Hotel in Tay Ho district four days ago and later tested positive for COVID-19.

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Politburo member and Secretary of the Hanoi Party Committee Vuong Dinh Hue (second from right) inspects the quarantined Somerset West Point Hotel in Tay Ho district on February 16, 2021. (Photo: NDO/Duy Linh)

On his visit to check on the quarantined hotel on February 16, Secretary of the Hanoi Party Committee Vuong Dinh Hue asked for coordination between the municipal Department of Health and the district’s administration to determine the cause of his death and the source of infection. They were also tasked to continue enforcing strict quarantine rules and quickly tracing direct (F1) and indirect (F2) contacts.

According to Director of the municipal Department of Health Nguyen Khac Hien, the department has collaborated with Tay Ho district to trace 63 F1 contacts of the Japanese man, two of whom had already tested positive for the novel coronavirus while the remainder negative; and 116 F2 contacts, all of whom tested negative for the virus.

The capital city has ordered the closure of all streetside stalls, monuments, religious and relic sites from February 16 to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Vice Chairman of the municipal People's Committee Chu Xuan Dung asked that all schools in the city allow their students to stay home until the end of the month.

He ordered relevant districts and townships to concentrate on tracing, zoning and mass testing to stop the spread of the pandemic. Along with the dissemination of preventive information through mass media, local pharmacies and private health facilities have been asked to report suspected cases.

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Businesses along a street in Hanoi close to prevent the spread of COVID-19. (Photo: NDO/Duy Linh)

Ho Chi Minh City’s authorities are testing arrivals from three major airports in the north (Noi Bai in Hanoi, Van Don in Quang Ninh province and Cat Bi in the northern port city of Hai Phong) as tens of thousands of passengers are returning after the Tet holiday.

According to the HCM City Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of February 14, some 200 samples had been taken each day for testing on a random basis at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in HCM City.

Since February 11, the city has also tested people considered at high-risk of contracting the coronavirus at bus stations, wet markets and some rental housing units in order to monitor the risk in the community.

In addition, the HCM City CDC has been conducting testing at hospitals across districts since September 15.

To ensure safety for passengers at Tan Son Nhat, airport staff must be tested one day before their working shifts.

More than 1,600 families of employees of the Vietnam Airport Ground Services Company Limited (VIAGS) have also been asked to test, as of February 10.

Since the first infection case was detected at the airport, the city has recorded 36 COVID-19 cases as of February 16, including 10 patients who are loading staff at the Tan Son Nhat airport and 26 cases who are family members of the loading staff.

City authorities have imposed a strict lockdown on areas that are related to the cases. All non-essential services and entertainment, and cultural and sports activities have been suspended until further notice.

“The infection chain at Tan Son Nhat hotspot has basically been contained,” according to the HCM City CDC.

The city is continuing to conduct extensive screening in the community to assess the risk of disease.