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Da Nang reopens some commercial businesses, allows beach-going

Thursday, April 23, 2020, 14:56 GMT+7
Da Nang reopens some commercial businesses, allows beach-going
People go parasailing at a beach in Da Nang, Vietnam in this undated file photo. Photo: Huu Kha / Tuoi Tre

The People’s Committee of Da Nang has allowed beach-going activities, all accommodation businesses, and a number of four-wheeled commercial passenger vehicles to resume operations after weeks of suspension.

Da Nang, which was previously a ‘high-risk’ city according to classification by the National Committee for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Prevention and Control, has been demoted to a ‘low-risk’ locality, as per Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s conclusion at a national teleconference on Wednesday.

There have been only six infections in Da Nang so far, all of whom have recovered and exited the hospital, with no new case having been reported in the city for 30 days straight.

Following the reclassification, the Da Nang steering committee for COVID-19 prevention and control issued an announcement on relaxing social distancing measures, which came into effect on Thursday.

Accordingly, Da Nang chairman Huynh Duc Tho decided to permit accommodation businesses in the city to resume operations on the condition that facility owners, all employees, and visitors must strictly practice preventive measures such as wearing face masks, washing hands, and making health declarations as required.

Tourism coaches, contracted vehicles, and taxicabs are allowed operate but they must not carry more passengers than 50 percent of the vehicles’ capacity. 

Passengers are required to wash their hands with hand sanitizer after getting on and before getting off these vehicles, and wear face masks during trips.

Commercial vehicles must be disinfected before each journey.

Beach-going activities have also been given the green light to resume as long as there are no large gatherings.

The move reverses what the Da Nang leader had said a day earlier when he announced that the city would not reconsider the ban on beach-going until at least April 30.

Restaurants and other eateries in the city are encouraged to provide takeaway and delivery services, although dine-in is no longer banned.

When serving dine-in customers, restaurants and eateries must arrange for customers and store attendants to stay two meters apart from one another and ensure all preventive measures are upheld.

All civil servants, officials, officers, and employees in local government units and agencies were expected to return to normal work from Thursday.

People eat at eateries in Da Nang, Vietnam in this undated file photo. Photo: Huu Kha / Tuoi Tre

People eat at eateries in Da Nang, Vietnam in this undated file photo. Photo: Huu Kha / Tuoi Tre

In the education sector, the Da Nang Department of Education and Training is asked to coordinate with the municipal health department to disinfect schools before allowing all K-12 students to return to school on May 4, and kindergarteners on May 11.

Language, IT, and extracurricular tutoring schools can also reopen from May 4.

The number of students in each classroom will be reduced by half to avoid close interaction. They also must wear face masks at schools.

Not letting guard down yet

Still, the city warns residents about the ongoing complicated development of the pandemic in the world and the risk of community infections and possible new outbreaks.

Chairman Tho requested departments, agencies, and administrations in the city’s districts to ensure their employees continue to wear face masks, limit social contact and gathering at crowded places, regularly wash their hands, and stay vigilant for COVID-19.

Da Nang continues to ban all entertainment activities, resorts and tourist sites, inner-city and inter-city buses, electric tour buses, and inland waterway passenger transportation.

All religious activities with 20 participants or more, discos, karaoke parlors, bars, pubs, festivals, cinemas, massage parlors, museums and monuments, video game centers, casinos, libraries, art shows, indoor entertainment venues, gyms, dance and yoga classes, pool clubs, and swimming pools will also remain forbidden.

Vietnam underwent nationwide enhanced social distancing from April 1 to 15, with 28 provinces and cities including Da Nang having their social distancing period prolonged until April 22.

During the enhanced social distancing period, schools, stores, and entertainment venues were closed, gatherings of more than two people in public spaces were banned, and people were told to stay home except for trips outdoors for food, medications, and emergency care.

Vietnam has confirmed 268 COVID-19 cases in total, with 223 having recovered, accounting for over 83 percent of the tally.

Eleven out of the 45 patients remaining in treatment have tested negative for the virus at least once, while three other critical patients having made positive progress.

The country has yet to record a death from the disease.

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