The capital city has gone 157 days without any additional community transmission, however, the Department of Health emphasized that the pandemic is still unpredictable considering new variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus have been detected in the UK and have spread to over 50 other countries.
Permanent members of the Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control also pointed out immense threats from the escalation of illegal entrances into Vietnam, which have amounted to hundreds of cases detected per day.
In one specific case, the illegal entrants entered the country through the northern border with China before traveling to the south in an automobile.
In light of the issues, Hanh sounded the alarm on the yearning of overseas Vietnamese to return to the country in time for the Lunar New Year holiday, which may enkindle new COVID-19 outbreaks if illegal entrances are not curbed.
Hanh also noted that cold weather in the city may prove a favorable condition for COVID-19 spread.
Hanoi residents have started dropping their guard against the epidemic and neglecting necessary prevention guidelines at restaurants and supermarkets, Hanh reported.
“When I went with the city's deputy chairman to oversee the adherence to epidemic prevention guidelines yesterday, [I noticed] requisite measures such as disinfectant usage and face mask wearing were not well upheld,” Hanh said.
“Most districts reported good compliance, but realistic implementation didn’t quite match.
"We need to rectify this immediately as the city-level inspectors cannot cover each individual case."
Meanwhile, deputy chairman Dung warned of strict punishment for neglecting the COVID-19 prevention procedures.
Dung declared that messaging will be pushed to each residential area so that citizens can stay vigilant against illegal entry.
In addition, law enforcement officers must enhance their prevention against unlawful entrances.