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Mayhem as Hanoians flood Covid test sites

Created 22 July 2021
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Without adequate social distancing, hundreds gathered at Covid-19 testing sites across Hanoi on Wednesday, sparking total chaos.

People gather in front of the Medlatec General Hospital in Hanois Thanh Xuan District for their coronavirus tests, July 21, 2021. Photo by VnExpress.

Since 6 a.m., lines of people could be seen in front of the National Institute for Control of Vaccine and Biologicals in Hoang Mai District waiting to be Covid-19 tested. It is one of 176 testing sites in Hanoi approved by the Ministry of Health. Many come here to get their negative test certificates, required to pass Covid-19 checkpoints.

The institute said it operates from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. and would limit itself to 500 tests a day. PCR tests would cost VND734,000 ($31.88) and quick tests VND135,000.

At 8 a.m., security guards found it hard to maintain order at the gates. Hundreds have now gathered on the sidewalk, pushing each other while awaiting their turns. As a result, the institute was forced to close early at 9:15 a.m.

"My job requires me to travel long distances, while passing through localities requires a negative test certificate. Without it, I would miss my ride," said Tuan, a 35-year-old driver.

Pham Hai Binh, secretary of Dai Kim Ward, said testing is performed independently by the institute, adding local authorities have dispatched personnel to help maintain order and coronavirus control measures.

People gather in front of the Medlatec General Hospital in Hanois Thanh Xuan District for their coronavirus tests, July 21, 2021. Photo by VnExpress.

People gather in front of Medlatec General Hospital in Hanoi's Thanh Xuan District for their coronavirus tests, July 21, 2021. Photo by VnExpress.

At another Covid-19 testing site at Medlatec General Hospital in Thanh Xuan District, a similar scene occurred with dozens spilling onto the streets as they wait to be tested for Covid.

Amid rising numbers of coronavirus infections nationwide, several localities in the north, including Hai Duong, Quang Ninh, Thai Binh, Nam Dinh, Hung Yen and Bac Giang have required all entrants to show negative coronavirus tests, returned at least three days prior.

Vietnam is currently facing its toughest coronavirus wave yet since late April, having recorded 61,889 local cases. Hanoi has recorded 721 cases in the new wave.

The capital has requested people not to go out except for buying food, medication or other emergencies. Gatherings of more than five people are not allowed in public.

 

Source: VNE

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