UCA News

Vietnam

Vietnam launches lockdown to fight Covid-19

PM seals borders and orders citizens to only leave home to buy food and medicine or for essential work

UCA News reporter, Hanoi

UCA News reporter, Hanoi

Updated: March 31, 2020 10:10 AM GMT
Support Asia's largest network of Catholic journalists and editors
Support Asia's largest network of Catholic journalists and editors
Vietnam launches lockdown to fight Covid-19

Health workers wearing protective clothing take a blood sample from a resident at a makeshift rapid coronavirus testing centre near Bach Mai Hospital in Vietnam's capital Hanoi on March 31. (Photo: Nhac Nguyen/AFP)

Share this article :
Vietnam’s prime minister has introduced tough measures to stop the spread of coronavirus in the Southeast Asian nation.

Nguyen Xuan Phuc has demanded social distancing, working from home and the suspension of public transport.

He said the pandemic seriously threatens human health and life and economic and social development. “The people’s health and life come first,” he said.

He demanded social distancing to be followed by families, villages, districts and provinces in the 15 days starting April 1.

A lot of people are seen on streets and beaches and in some places people still do not strictly follow the requirement to not gather in crowds. Phuc said such behavior is creating a high risk of infection.

The head of the communist government ordered all citizens to stay at home and only go out to buy food and medicine or work at factories that are permitted to remain open. They must strictly keep themselves at least two meters away from others and are not allowed to gather with more than two people in public places. They must wear face masks and clean their places with antiseptics.

The prime minister will also temporarily seal Vietnam’s borders with Laos and Cambodia from April 1.

He said government agencies should arrange for staff to work via telecommunications at home. The country has cut domestic flights and suspended non-essential services, halting public transport and minimizing the use of personal vehicles.

On March 30, Phuc asked Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to stand ready for city lockdowns as the country has entered the pandemic’s peak period.

He came to this decision after Vietnam’s health ministry reported 15 new Covid-19 cases on March 30, raising the number of confirmed cases to 204. Of the total, 188 cases were found from March 6-30.

The ministry said 3,215 other suspected people are quarantined in hospitals and over 75,000 others are being monitored at homes. No deaths have yet been reported.

Vietnam’s 27 Catholic dioceses suspended daily Masses and liturgical services at churches and chapels from last weekend. They urged Catholics to pray privately at churches and home, do charitable work and observe Masses livestreamed through websites and social media.

Support UCA News...

As 2020 unfolds, we are asking readers like you to help us keep Union of Catholic Asian News (UCA News) free so it can be accessed from anywhere in the world at no cost.

That has been our policy for years and was made possible by donations from European Catholic funding agencies. However, like the Church in Europe, these agencies are in decline and the immediate and urgent claims on their funds for humanitarian emergencies in Africa and parts of Asia mean there is much less to distribute than there was even a decade ago.

Forty years ago, when UCA News was founded, Asia was a very different place - many poor and underdeveloped countries with large populations to feed, political instability and economies too often poised on the edge of collapse. Today, Asia is the economic engine room of the world and funding agencies quite rightly look to UCA News to do more to fund itself.

UCA News has a unique product developed from a view of the world and the Church through informed Catholic eyes. Our journalistic standards are as high as any in the quality press; our focus is particularly on a fast-growing part of the world - Asia - where, in some countries the Church is growing faster than pastoral resources can respond to - South Korea, Vietnam and India to name just three.

And UCA News has the advantage of having in its ranks local reporters that cover 22 countries and experienced native English-speaking editors to render stories that are informative, informed and perceptive.

We report from the ground where other news services simply can't or won't go. We report the stories of local people and their experiences in a way that Western news outlets simply don't have the resources to reach. And we report on the emerging life of new Churches in old lands where being a Catholic can at times be very dangerous.

With dwindling support from funding partners in Europe and the USA, we need to call on the support of those who benefit from our work.

Click here to find out the ways you can support UCA News. You can make a difference for as little as US$5...
UCAN Donate
YOUR DAILY
NEWSLETTER
Thank you. You are now signed up to our Daily Full Bulletin newsletter
 
Support UCA News

William J. Grimm, MM

Publisher

Union of Catholic Asian News

"As Pope Francis has said, we live not so much in an era of change as in a change of era. That is especially true in Asia and for the churches of Asia. UCA News is the dedicated, Asia-wide news and information service for the Church in Asia and we need your help to maintain the service."