Here are today’s leading news stories:
-- Vietnam has engaged the entire political system, including the military and public security forces, in the fight against the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) epidemic, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc told WHO Representative in Vietnam Kidong Park during a reception in Hanoi on Saturday.
-- Ho Chi Minh City authorities have decided to shut down all cinemas, clubs and bars, massage parlors, karaoke shops, and onlin game centers from 6:00 pm on Sunday until the end of March to prevent the spread of the COVID-19.
-- The Hoa Binh Apartment Building in District 10, Ho Chi Minh City, where Vietnam’s 48th COVID-19 patient resides, has been sealed off to prevent viral infection. About 20 people who had close contact with the patient have tested negative so far.
-- Authorities in the south-central province of Binh Thuan have ordered large-scale disinfection along local streets and the shutdown of all entertainment and sports facilities from March 14 until no COVID-19 cases are confirmed in the province. Binh Thuan currently has nine confirmed COVID-19 cases.
-- The Hanoi administration on Saturday asked all people who arrived in the city from COVID-19-hit areas from March 1 to contact the hotlines: 0969082115 or 0949396115 for a free-of-charge test.
-- All tourist attractions, relics, and museums in the central provinces of Thua Thien-Hue and Quang Binh have been closed due to the COVID-19 epidemic. The reopening date has yet to be announced.
-- Six out of 31 passengers on flight QR 974 operated by Qatar Airways on March 2, which Vietnam’s 34th COVID-19 patient boarded, have tested negative for the disease as of Saturday afternoon.
-- Fruit and vegetable exports have faced difficulties this year due to the COVID-19 epidemic and are unlikely to hit the target of US$4-5 billion target set for 2020, the Vietnam Fruit and Vegetables Association stated.
-- National carrier Vietnam Airlines will stop all of its flights from London, Paris, and Frankfurt to Vietnam from March 15 amid the increasingly serious COVID-19 epidemic.
-- The novel coronavirus has infected more than 155,500 people and killed almost 5,808 others around the world, according to Ministry of Health statistics.