By Quang Huy – Translated by Kim Khanh
Competent forces vow to strictly handle the cases of violating measures of pandemic prevention and control issued by the Hanoi People’s Committee and the Ministry of Heath.
Covid-19 preventive measures in public places, especially heath facilities, must be tightened, Kinh te & Do thi quoted Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Ngo Van Quy as saying at a meeting on November 19.
Although no new local cases have been recorded in the capital city for more than three months, Hanoi’s health department said the risk of the return of the coronavirus is latent, especially as winter is nearing.
Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Ngo Van Quy speaks at the online meeting. Photo: Kinhtedothi.vn
“There are definitely signs of negligence in pandemic prevention in public places, especially in crowded events, shopping malls and supermarkets in the city,” Mr. Quy stressed.
He asked the competent forces to continue to strictly handle the cases of violating measures of pandemic prevention and control issued by the Hanoi People’s Committee and the Ministry of Heath.
The pandemic evolution in the world continues to be complicated as the number of Covid-19 cases and deaths is increasing, especially in the US and Europe. Therefore, if efforts to control the disease were insufficient, especially when people let their guard down, there would be an elevated risk of outbreaks, the vice chairman noted.
He went on to say that there are reports of many people not wearing face masks and flouting prevention measures in medical examination and treatment establishments, schools, production and business establishments, restaurants, concentrated isolation areas, public places and crowded events in the city.
The risk of a resurgence of the Covid-19 pandemic is latent, so staying vigilant is a must, as cold and dry winter conditions favor the transmission of the virus, the vice chairman said.
He stressed that people should regularly wash hands with soap or hand sanitizers, and keep safe distancing and avoid mass gatherings.
Vietnam has gone 79 straight days without locally acquired Covid-19 cases. However, people are advised to stay vigilant and anyone who has any symptoms needs to get tested and isolate themselves until having confirmatory results.
Tour operators in the city should continue preparing new products while the city is fighting the pandemic.
Hanoi’s tourism authorities have requested local businesses to adjust their stimulus programs amid the resurgence of the novel coronavirus in the city and other localities to prevent the pandemic from spreading.
|The Temple of Literature historical relic is one of the must-visit destinations for tourists. Photo: Hanoimoi|
Travelers’ safety is top priority
With the new evolution of Covid-19, the Tourism Department has asked city’s tour operators to draw up the list of Hanoi’s residents who visited or traveled through pandemic-hit areas.
Currently, the department is working with the tourism associations of Vietnam and Hanoi as well as relevant agencies on updating the Covid-19 situation and suspending some stimulus activities in August until appropriate time.
In addition, the department also required tour operators to continue preparing new products for when the pandemic is under control, Hanoi will be one of first the localities that will launch tourist promos.
The city’s tourism industry agreed that ensuring the safety for local visitors is now the first priority. All units have reactivated anti-pandemic measures such as wearing face masks, washing hands with soap or sanitizer and checking body temperature at tourist destinations.
At some tourist attractions in Hanoi, the number of visitors has increased over the past two months after the social distancing period ended.
Border closure and stay-at-home orders have hit the city’s tourism industry hard. The city welcomed an estimated 6.13 million visitors in the first seven months of this year, down 63.3% from a year earlier.
|Ensuring the safety for local visitors is now the first priority. Photo: Hanoimoi|
Tour operators face hardship
In July, 28 travel businesses in the city sent 6,681 visitors to the beach city Danang while 22 tour operators in Hanoi received 7,503 trip cancellations due to the new infections related to Danang from July 28 to 30, according to the Hanoi Department of Tourism.
Travel companies are asking customers to share their difficulties by postponing travel dates or converting the value of tour packages into travel vouchers instead of customers canceling tours and requesting refund, according to Nguyen Cong Hoan, CEO of Flamingo Redtours Company.
Chairman of the Hanoi Tourism Association Phung Quang Thang suggested that local airlines should have specific policies of refunding or delaying for groups of passengers. Accommodation establishments and destinations should allow travelers to change check-in dates.
At a meeting on July 31 to discuss solutions for issues arising in the new context, representatives from Vietnam Airlines, Bamboo Airways and Vietjet Air said that they had studied supporting policies for the tourism industry but still needed the cooperation from other units.
Particularly, Vietnam Airlines has a policy to extend the validity of purchased tickets until June 2021. Currently, it is difficult for people canceling air tickets to get refund while those changing flights will be charged a fee.
This move has seen localities boost epidemic prevention measures in an effort to ensure safety for both residents and tourists during the long break. People are required to fully abide by the Ministry of Health’s 5K message, including khau trang (facemask), khu khuan (disinfection), khoang cach (distance), khong tu tap (no gathering), and khai bao y te (health declaration).
The Hanoi People’s Committee has requested that the cultural, sport, and tourism agencies ans local administrations devise plans to tighten control of cultural and relic sites, cinemas, museums, and festivals in order to nip in a bud a possible coronavirus outbreak in the community.
Nguyen Van Phuc, deputy director of the Thua Thien-Hue Tourism Department in central Vietnam, revealed that his agency has informed travel firms, especially hotels and restaurants in the region, to strengthen the deployment of epidemic prevention regulations. This should be done whilst sending inspection teams to provide further guidance to local firms.
Trinh Hang, director of the Ba Ria Vung Tau Department of Tourism in southern Vietnam, noted that the locality has not prohibited tourism activities, but has instead tried to swiftly deploy the 5K message alongside other anti-epidemic measures under the guidance of the Ministry of Health.
Meanwhile, Bui The Nhan, director of the Binh Thuan Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said that the province has asked tourist destinations and accommodation establishments to enforce a strict policy of guests wearing face masks, and to conduct mandatory medical declaration for visitors.
During the upcoming April 30-May 1 holidays, the volume of flights and passengers to be served by the NIA are predicted to reach a record high, with 78,000-80,000 passengers and more than 500 flights per day, an increase of 30% compared to normal days and up 40% over the same period in 2019.
To ensure effective COVID-19 prevention and control, the NIA has sent a document asking agencies, units and businesses to regularly remind airlines and ground service units to take more drastic pandemic prevention measures.
Accordingly, airlines and ground service units are being requested to inspect and remind their employees to strictly implement the Health Ministry’s 5K message: Khau trang (facemask) – Khu khuan (disinfection) – Khoang cach (distance) – Khong tu tap (no gathering) – Khai bao y te (health declaration), as well as making the wearing of facemasks mandatory for all passengers and workers and asking them to avoid unnecessary mass gatherings.
The NIA has arranged antiseptic solution at the doors and passengers’ movement flows, while requesting airlines and units providing non-aviation services to place hand sanitizer at check-in counters, aircraft exit doors, stalls and pavilions.
The NIA has also arranged security forces to supervise, inspect and remind passengers to wear facemasks in all areas, disinfect their hands, and comply with the 5K recommendations. Notably, it has completed the installation of four more security scanners in Zone C, increasing the total to 22, thus meeting the work during the peak period.
* The Hanoi Department of Education and Training recently issued a document on strengthening COVID-19 prevention and control in schools, requesting units and schools to develop plans for online teaching when necessary, maintain and regularly inspect the implementation of pandemic prevention and control measures, restrict mass gatherings, and only organise activities if anti-COVID-19 conditions are met.
Units and schools were asked to prepare facilities, human resources, medical equipment, and consumable supplies to stand ready for pandemic prevention and control when required, as well as telling officials, teachers, students and employees to make medical declarations using QR codes and working closely with local health establishments to effectively carry out safety measures.
* On April 29, the Da Nang Department of Industry and Trade issued an official dispatch on strengthening the implementation of pandemic prevention and control measures at trade centres, supermarkets, markets and convenience stores across the city, especially during the upcoming holidays.
Accordingly, the department requested customers, household businesses, managers and employees to wear facemasks and wash their hands with antiseptic solution before entering the aforementioned places, as well as to keep people at a safe distance from each other. In addition, guard forces have been told to strengthen inspection and remind customers to follow the 5K message.
HCM CITY – Minister of Health Nguyễn Thanh Long has asked HCM City authorities to carry out COVID-19 pandemic prevention and control activities at the highest level.
At a meeting on pandemic prevention and control held on Thursday, Long said that although the city does not border provinces on the southwest border, the risk of transmission remains high as the city is the major trading centre for the maritime, aviation and tourism sectors in the South.
The city should maintain groups of supervisors from the city Centre for Disease Control and provide tests for the SARS-CoV-2 virus to people experiencing a cough and fever.
It also needs to ensure its COVID-19 case-detection capacity to at least 50,000 samples per day.
The minister asked the city to postpone unnecessary or crowded events, and strictly check entertainment venues, restaurants and hotels.
The city must also prepare sufficient health equipment and medicines, and plan to deal with the possible scenario of positive-case detections and a high number of severely ill patients.
Other issues include safety at quarantine facilities and preparation of infrastructure needed to receive a large number of quarantined people.
At the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Trương Hòa Bình praised the city’s efforts in COVID-19 pandemic prevention and control. However, he said the city should focus on preventing and controlling illegal migration amid the complex developments of the pandemic in regional countries and the world.
“Do not let any COVID-19 case infest the community,” Bình said.
People’s Committee chairman Nguyễn Thành Phong said the city has tightened surveillance to detect illegal entrants.
He urged the public to comply with the Ministry of Health’s 5K message to wear masks, frequently disinfect hands, keep a safe distance, refrain from gatherings, and make health declarations.
Recently, many inspectors from city departments and districts have been sent to check whether people are wearing masks in public, he said.
They found that many people were not wearing masks in public. The city has handed out a total of VNĐ12 million (US$519) fines since Tuesday (April 27).
The city has cancelled the firework shows previously scheduled to celebrate Reunification Day and Labour Day, and has postponed unnecessary or crowded events.
Hospitals were also told to ensure staff for COVID-19 prevention and control during the four-day holiday celebrating Reunification Day on April 30 and Labour Day on May 1. VNS