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Vietnam prime minister orders reopening of non-essential businesses

Thursday, May 07, 2020, 15:21 GMT+7
Vietnam prime minister orders reopening of non-essential businesses
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc speaks at a government meeting in Hanoi on May 7, 2020. Photo: Chinhphu.vn

Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has allowed the reopening of non-essential businesses as the country has recorded no novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) case in the community for three weeks.

This move followed the gradual restart of the economy in which public transport, domestic air travel, inter-province bus operations, and intra-city bus services have been reinstated after being shut down in accordance with an enhanced social distancing fiat last month.

Schools have started to reopen since late last month.

Non-essential businesses and services are now permitted to come back on stream, PM Phuc said at a government meeting in Hanoi on Thursday.

Bars, pubs, clubs and discos, beauty salons, massage parlors, karaoke lounges, barbers, and hairdressers are some of the services considered non-essential in Vietnam.

Karaoke lounges and clubs and discos continue to be shuttered, PM Phuc noted.

All businesses must adhere to safety guidelines such as face mask donning and hand washing while in operation, the government chief said.

Vietnam will keep trying its best to bar imported cases by quaratining all international arrivals for 14 days, the prime minister said.

“Don’t ever let international arrivals transmit the virus to the local community,” he insisted.

The government decided to lift a ban on some sporting activities and crowded events but participants must don face coverings and clean their hands frequently.

It is still compulsory for everyone to sport face coverings in public and on public transportation means while washing hands and good personal hygiene are highly recommended in crowded places.

The premier agreed to open some auxiliary border gates and open crossings along the Vietnam-China border for trade but preventive measures are required to be in place.

Vietnam has confirmed 271 COVID-19 patients to date, with 232 recoveries and no virus-induced death, according to the Ministry of Health’s statistics.

The Southeast Asian country has gone three weeks without any community-transmitted infection, with only three imported cases detected in quarantine.

It has conducted tests on 261,004 samples as yet while currently isolating 20,942 people.

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