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Vietnam’s face mask wearing rule gets lukewarm compliance amid COVID-19

Monday, March 16, 2020, 18:08 GMT+7
Vietnam’s face mask wearing rule gets lukewarm compliance amid COVID-19
A crowd of foreign tourists without face masks gather in front of the Saigon Central Post Office in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, March 16, 2020. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre

Despite a fresh mandate by the Vietnamese government that took effect on Monday requiring people to wear face masks at crowded places like airports, bus stations, and supermarkets for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) prevention, not everyone complied with the regulation on its first day of effect.

The mandate was drawn from a government meeting to discuss measures to fight COVID-19 in Hanoi on Saturday.

Accordingly, people are required to wear face masks when visiting crowded public places like supermarkets, airports, and bus stations, or when they use public transportation, starting from Monday.

Face masks must be distributed free of charge to passengers at bus stations, ports, and terminals while vehicle operators are allowed to demand that their passengers wear the masks during their journeys.

The measure is aimed at preventing the possible community spread of the novel coronavirus as Vietnam has confirmed 57 patients being infected with COVID-19.

Sixteen of them had fully recovered and been discharged from the hospital by February 26, while 41 active cases have been reported in the Southeast Asian country since March 6 after Vietnam had gone three weeks without any new infection.

However, according to the observation of Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper’s reporters, many people were still spotted with uncovered faces on the streets and at public places in Vietnam on Monday morning.

Two foreign tourists travel on a boat at the floating Cai Rang Market, located in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho, Vietnam, March 16, 2020. Photo: Chi Quoc / Tuoi Tre

Two foreign tourists travel in a boat without wearing face masks at the Cai Rang Floating Market, located in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho, Vietnam, March 16, 2020. Photo: Chi Quoc / Tuoi Tre

A shop attendant is spotted not wearing a face mask at the iconic Ben Thanh Market in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, March 16, 2020. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

A shop attendant is spotted not wearing a face mask at the iconic Ben Thanh Market in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, March 16, 2020. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

Sellers are spotted not wearing face masks at the tourist-jammed Ton That Dam Market in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, March 16, 2020. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

Sellers are spotted not wearing face masks at the tourist-jammed Ton That Dam Market in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, March 16, 2020. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

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