Covid-19 Weekly Update in Vietnam - Week 3 October, 2021

Last week, Vietnam showed more positive signs about the current epidemic situation. The average number of newly reported COVID-19 infections has fallen below 4.000 cases/day and is steadily decreasing,  as more of the nation gets vaccinated against the deadly illness. The number of deaths in the past week also decreased significantly  (↓22% over the same period). Up to now, a vast majority of patients have recovered from COVID-19 and there are only 51.018 patients being treated. Thanks to the great efforts of the whole country, we hope for a quick return to normalcy, especially Vietnam’s tourism recovery.

Many provinces and cities in the country are getting closer to achieving the “green zone” criteria. The Ministry of Health released temporary guidelines on effective Covid-19 management and adaptation, which included three criteria to classify areas into different risk levels based on the community transmission rate of infections, the vaccination rate and Covid-19 treatment capabilities. Under these guidelines, different areas would be categorized into four levels: Level 1 areas carry the lowest risks and level 4 the highest. Quang Ninh province met the criteria of level 1 - green zone. Taking advantage of the safe conditions of the epidemic, Ha Long is gradually reopening domestic tourism. Da Nang is at level 2 - yellow zone because 80% of people over 65 years old have not been vaccinated with 2 doses. However, Da Nang will soon implement a plan to welcome domestic tourists to gradually resume tourism activities.
Tourism activities on Halong Bay being resumed step by step
Tourism activities on Halong Bay being resumed step by step - Source: Vietnamtourism
Vietnam continues implementing the mass vaccination campaign for all people over 18 years old. Currently, 44.1 million people in Vietnam have been vaccinated, accounting about 45.7 % of the total population. In addition, the Prime Minister Vo Duc Dam has urgently requested instructions for vaccination and implementation of  a vaccination program for people under 18 years old.

In the past week, the number of new COVID-19 infections recorded in Hanoi is 68 cases and has increased when compared to the previous week. These cases are mainly people related to the cluster of infection in Viet Duc Hospital, people returning from the epidemic areas and F1 cases having been isolated. In the last two weeks, Hanoi has had two clusters of cases in Hang Trong ward - Viet Duc Hospital (Hoan Kiem district) and a cluster of cases in La Khe (Ha Dong district). Up to now, the cluster of cases related to Viet Duc Hospital from September 30 recorded a total of 99 cases in Hanoi.

The Hanoi Center for Disease Control (CDC) assessed that the capital met at least two criteria for classifying risks at level 1 (green zone): the rate of new cases in the community/population/week and the vaccination coverage level according to the guidelines of the Ministry of Health. Currently, 579 communes, wards and 30 districts in the city are all at level 1. From 6 a.m on October 14th, Hanoi restored business and service activities, including restaurants allowed to offer on-site dining, parks, hotels and public transport. However, the business establishments resume operation at no more than 50% of their capacity and have to meet the requirements of local disease control. 
The restaurants equipped with partitions to ensure distance
The restaurants equipped with partitions to ensure distance - Source: Báo Tuổi Trẻ
Hanoi is ready to restore and developper tourism in the capital. The tourist activities are going to be relaunched as soon as the epidemic situation is under control. The Hanoi Department of Tourism has developed and proposed stages of tourism restoration based on the guidance of "Safe adaptation to Covid-19 epidemic" associated with four phases. It is expected that right in October, the tourism industry will open the door in the third phase, allowing qualified accommodation establishments, tourist destinations, and tour operators to reopen, mainly serving tourists in Hanoi participating in the tour "Hanoi people travel within Hanoi".

Visitors making a medical declaration before visiting Thang Long Imperial Citadel Visitors making a medical declaration before visiting Thang Long Imperial Citadel -  Source: Báo Nhân Dân
The epidemic situation in Ho Chi Minh City has been properly controlled. After nearly two weeks of implementing Directive 18, the number of infections and deaths from COVID-19 have all decreased for many consecutive days. Notably, the number of infections in Ho Chi Minh City has decreased to less than 1,000. However, according to the classification criteria, the city is still in the orange zone.

Ho Chi Minh City plans to close field hospitals from mid-October to December 2021 as the number of COVID-19 infections declines. The first field hospital in Ho Chi Minh City was removed on October 16th. Specifically, the city will close the field hospital at the dormitory of the Vietnam National University Ho Chi Minh City.
The students return to the dormitory
The students return to the dormitory - Source: Bao Thanh Nien
HCMC Center for Disease Control (HCDC) said that the number of vaccines planned for the second dose is available now. In order to quickly return to the new normal state, the city needs to speed up the progress of injecting two doses of the vaccine to residents in the area. The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Health is proposing to deploy the Covid-19 vaccine for children who are from 12-17, living or studying in Ho Chi Minh city, with the number about 780,000. It is expected to start from 22th October.
After a closure to prevent Covid-19, a number of museums in Ho Chi Minh City reopened in mid-October. The War Remnants Museum in District 3 and the Ho Chi Minh City Ao Dai Museum in Thu Duc City have opened. Visitors come to visit with the condition that they have a "Covid-19 green card" or a certificate of full dose of vaccine or that F0 has recovered from the disease (with confirmation) within 6 months from the time of visit. Visitors who have received the first dose of the vaccine, must show a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours before visiting. Moreover, they must comply with the 5K and the instructions of the museum staff.
The Ho Chi Minh City Ao Dai Museum
The Ho Chi Minh City Ao Dai Museum - Source: VnExpress
Until now, many tourist destinations in Vietnam such as Hai Phong, Quang Ninh, Bac Giang, Vinh Phuc, Thanh Hoa, Khanh Hoa, Hue, Ninh Thuan, Binh Thuan,... have been allowed to reopen, but most of them have just served domestic tourists. Almost all destinations require tourists and guides to have a negative test result for SARS-CoV-2 within 72 hours or a “Covid-19 green card”. Besides, Quang Binh welcomed the first group of tourists from another province.
Greeting visitor at the airport
Greeting visitor at the airport - Surce: VnExpress
Recently, Da Nang has proposed to the Prime Minister for permission to welcome and serve foreign tourists since November. In the first period, the city will welcome international tourists such as Korea, Russia and overseas Vietnamese on a closed tour or combo or a combination of golf and entertainment. It is expected that Da Nang will welcome 15,000 to 20,000 visitors/month. Forcedly, tourists and businesses must all comply with local epidemic prevention measures.

Stay in touch with Mr Linh’s Adventures for more weekly updates on Vietnam’s pandemic and tourism situation

* Source: Báo VnExpress, Báo Thanh niên, Báo Công an TPHCM, Báo Tuổi trẻ, Báo Giao thông, Vietnamnet.

Published on 18th October, 2021
Written by Lan Anh and Ngoc Hien, Intern at Mr Linh’s Adventures

Previous weeks updates:
- Week 2 October 2021
- Week 1 October, 2021

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