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Vietnam COVID-19 Updates (March 2): Hanoi to allow operation of restaurants

Valerie Mai Valerie Mai

mnghonganh@gmail.com

March 02, 2021 | 09:36

Restaurants in Hanoi will be allowed to re-open under certain requirements from 0:00 on March 2, heard at a meeting of the capital COVID-19 prevention and control steering committee on March 1.

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Photo: VN Express

24 new COVID-19 infections

Vietnam logged 13 COVID-19 infections in the past 12 hours as of 6 pm on March 1, pushing the national tally to 2,461, according to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control. The country’s pandemic hotspot Hai Duong in the north hosted eight of the total new cases, while the remaining five, all Vietnamese nationals, were imported and quarantined upon arrivals in the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang. The eight infections in Hai Duong are F1 cases of confirmed COVID-19 patients.

Northern Hai Duong Province reported 11 new Covid-19 cases Tuesday morning, raising its tally to 684 in over a month. All of the new patients have contacted previously confirmed infections in the province and been isolated in line with the contact tracing protocol. Hai Duong and its neighbor Quang Ninh Province is where the ongoing community outbreak started on January 28, ending a streak of 55 clean days for Vietnam.

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Photo: VN Express

Hanoi to allow operation of restaurants on March 2

Restaurants in Hanoi will be allowed to re-open under certain requirements from 0:00 on March 2, heard at a meeting of the capital COVID-19 prevention and control steering committee on March 1. The requirements include a distance of one meter from one customer to another or a shield between them. All restaurants have to use an app to report on their pandemic prevention and control work.

Meanwhile, discos, bars, karaoke shops, online games shops, and sidewalk food stalls will remain closed. Local authorities have also requested competent agencies to check COVID-19 prevention and control at religious facilities in preparation for their operation resumption.

At the meeting, Deputy Director of the municipal Health Department Hoang Duc Hanh said the pandemic has been basically placed under control, with the city recording no new domestic cases for 14 consecutive days. However, new cases are possible, as experts and technicians are allowed to enter the city, and students from across the nation will return to the city to resume their studies at local universities and colleges.

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Photo: VN Express

Vietnam's 2nd coronavirus vaccine set for human trials this week

The phase one human trial of the Covid-19 vaccine made by the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals will begin on Wednesday, the Ministry of Health said. Covivac, the second Vietnamese-made vaccine to be tested on humans after Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology’s Nanocovax, had received approval in late January.

The trial would take place at the Hanoi Medical University with 120 volunteers aged 18-59 and without underlying health conditions, infectious diseases, or allergies getting two doses or a placebo 28 days apart. The second phase will begin in July and the final phase in November.

Pre-clinical studies in India, the U.S., and Vietnam have shown that Covivac is safe and effective, Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long said. Duong Huu Thai, head of the institute, said a dose of the vaccine, which has proven effective against the new variants from the U.K. and South Africa, would cost around VND60,000 ($2.60). Scientists are currently studying its efficacy against more strains, he added.

From the beginning of the pandemic, Vietnam has registered 2,472 Covid-19 cases. A total of 60,693 people who came in close contact with COVID-19 patients or arrived from pandemic-hit areas are under quarantine nationwide, including 560 at hospitals, 12,298 at other quarantine sites, and 47,835 at home.

Among patients under treatment, 66 have tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 once, 37 twice, and 113 thrice. Vietnam has seen 1,892 recoveries so far, with the death toll remaining at 35.

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Valerie Mai