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Vietnam to ease social distancing as no new Covid-19 infections reported in six days

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HCMC – Vietnam has not reported new coronavirus cases for the sixth consecutive day, and the Government is expected to relax social distancing measures that have helped contain the pandamic after a fortnight’s enforcement.

The country’s infection tally was kept unchanged at 268 as of 6.00 a.m., this morning, April 22, with 216 having recovered and been discharged from hospital.

Six more Covid-19 patients are expected to be released from hospital today, according to the national steering committee for Covid-19 infection prevention and control.

Among the 52 active cases receiving treatment at nine medical centers nationwide, 20 patients have tested negative once or twice for the virus.

Hanoi City has passed eight days without a new patient being diagnosed with Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, while HCMC has enjoyed no new infections for 15 days, the local media reported. Therefore, leaders of both cities at a meeting with the Government on April 20 proposed that social distancing measures be lifted after April 22, as instructed in the prime minister’s Directive 16.

Earlier on April 15, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc with his Directive 16 had ordered to extend social distancing in HCMC, Hanoi and 10 other localities that are at high risk of coronavirus infection until April 22.

PM Phuc told a meeting in Hanoi between the Government and leaders of localities on April 20 that Vietnam would gradually relax social distancing measures given the improved Covid-19 situation, but the nation still has to maintain control and remain vigilant against the pandemic.

Takeshi Kasai, World Health Organization Regional Director for the Western Pacific, told a web conference on April 21 that Vietnam should carefully consider how to ease social distancing and restriction measures.

Kasai advised Vietnam not to relax these restrictions at any one time.

He said that the easing of the social distancing measure should be based on the number of Covid-19 infections, residents’ awareness of the disease, the country’s capacity of health care systems and residents’ ability to access health care services.

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