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Vietnam imposes strong measures as Covid-19 surges

Inessential services including religious activities have been suspended to curb a sudden increase in coronavirus cases

UCA News reporter, Ho Chi Minh City

UCA News reporter, Ho Chi Minh City

Published: May 04, 2021 05:11 AM GMT

Updated: May 04, 2021 05:54 AM GMT

Vietnam imposes strong measures as Covid-19 surges

Women in traditional dress dance and offer flowers in front of a Marian statue at Vinh Thinh church on May 2 in Hanoi. (Photo: tonggiaophanhanoi.org)

Many cities and provinces throughout Vietnam have suspended inessential services including religious activities to curb a sudden surge of coronavirus infections.

Le Trung Chinh, chairperson of the People’s Committee of Da Nang City, ordered all cultural and religious activities, sporting events and entertainment venues to be suspended starting on May 4 to contain the pandemic.

Chinh asked theaters, massage parlors, health spas, gaming cafes, bars, discos, casinos, karaoke bars, night markets and other unnecessary services to shut. Funerals, weddings and other social gatherings must have an attendance of less than 30.

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He said local daycare centers are closed while schools should hold online lessons.

Chinh also asked Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh to allow the city not to receive flights from abroad so that it could focus all its forces on preventing the outbreak.

Dozens of cities and provinces including Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are to suspend inessential services and festivals, make health declarations, conduct contact tracing and put suspected infected people in quarantine to curb a new wave of Covid-19 that includes 36 new community-transmitted cases in Da Nang, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Ha Nam, Hung Yen and Vinh Phuc since the first case was detected on April 29 after the country had recorded no community infections for over one month.

Experts are concerned that the Southeast Asian country is facing high risks of coronavirus spread

People are requested to wear face masks when they go out, cleanse their hands with disinfectant, make health declarations and not gather at public places with high attendances.

Lt. Col. Bui Vang Dang, deputy of the police department in Hanoi’s Hoan Kiem district, said 134 people were fined 1-3 million dong each (US$43-130) for not wearing masks during the long holidays.

Nguyen Thanh Phong, head of the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City, ordered local authorities to heavily fine any individuals who fail to give their health declarations or offer untrue declarations. Officials from quarantine centers must be responsible for community infections.

Experts are concerned that the Southeast Asian country is facing high risks of coronavirus spread as a lot of people crowded tourist destinations across the country during the four-day national holiday from April 30 to May 3.

The dioceses of Da Nang and Kontum canceled their planned ceremonies to mark St. Joseph the Worker on May 1 as a way to stem the contagion’s spread. 

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