Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has agreed to reopen karaoke parlors and discos, the only services to have remain shuttered in Vietnam since March because of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
The government leader gave the nod as he concluded a meeting on COVID-19 response on Tuesday morning, around a month after the government had allowed reopening of most non-essential services with exceptions for karaoke parlors and discos.
No specific date for the return of the two services was mentioned at the meeting.
However, Phuc asked law enforcement agencies to deal strictly with violations, especially drug trading and abuse, at these venues.
Vietnam ordered a series of non-essential businesses, including karaoke parlors and discos, to temporarily cease operations in late March when the country had entered a critical phase in fighting against the pandemic.
He allowed the majority of the businesses to come back on stream on May 9 as part of the gradual restart of the economy, but discos and karaoke lounges continued to be shuttered.
Tuesday morning’s approval was given as the country had gone nearly two months without detecting infection cases in the community, with all recent cases being imported from abroad and quarantined upon arrival.
The country’s last community infection was a 16-year-old Vietnamese girl from the northern province of Ha Giang who was placed in quarantine on April 7 and confirmed positive for the virus on April 16.
Vietnam has confirmed 332 COVID-19 patients as of Wednesday morning, with 317 recoveries and no deaths, according to the Ministry of Health’s statistics.
Six out of the 15 active patients have tested negative for the virus at least once, according to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.
Globally, over 7.31 million people have caught the virus while more than 3.59 million have recovered from the disease as of Wednesday morning, according to the Vietnamese health ministry. Nearly 413,000 people have died of COVID-19 worldwide.