Hanoi to ease virus restrictions

People wait to receive a shot of AstraZeneca vaccine in Hanoi, Vietnam.
People wait to receive a shot of AstraZeneca vaccine in Hanoi, Vietnam.

After a period of mass inoculation that saw almost 95 per cent of Hanoi's adult population vaccinated, city authorities say they plan to ease lockdown restrictions in the coming weeks.

Duong Duc Tuan, deputy chairman of Hanoi People's Committee, said in a statement on Sunday that Hanoi intends to allow the resumption of construction sites after September 21, while restaurants and cafes are now allowed to offer take-out and delivery in 19 low-risk city districts.

Since the fourth wave of the coronavirus began in April 2021, Hanoi has reported just over 4000 cases and enacted a series of strict social distancing orders, the most recent of which is due to end on Tuesday as the nation seeks to shift to a "living with the virus" approach.

The order comes after Hanoi vaccinated just under 5.7 million people with a single dose of a Covid-19 vaccine during a hectic period of mass vaccinations.

The city will offer second shots to its adult population in October and November if vaccine supplies allow.

Meanwhile, Ho Chi Minh City remains the worst-affected area in Vietnam and will stay in strict lockdown until at least the end of September. The southern metropolis has recorded more than 335,000 local infections and 13,000 deaths in the last six months.

As of September 19, Vietnam had administered a single Covid-19 vaccine dose to more than 27 million people out of a total population of 98 million, with 6.5 million fully vaccinated.

Australian Associated Press