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Hanoi shuts down all non-essential businesses

Wednesday, March 25, 2020, 19:08 GMT+7
Hanoi shuts down all non-essential businesses
Hanoi chairman Nguyen Duc Chung speaks at a meeting on COVID-19 prevention and control in Hanoi, Vietnam, March 25, 2020. Photo: Xuan Long / Tuoi Tre

All businesses except for essential services in Hanoi must be closed as the Vietnamese capital city ramps up its battle against the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) epidemic. 

The shutdown was ordered by Hanoi chairman Nguyen Duc Chung, pursuant to an announcement of the Government Office on Tuesday and based on the ongoing development of the disease.

As Chung asked departmental directors and district leaders not to lower their guard down, all non-essential businesses, including karaoke parlors, massage services, bars, discos, video game centers, cinemas, stadiums, and crowded sporting activities, were ordered to close down.

Only businesses providing products classified as “essential” by the city, like food, gas, and necessities for daily life, will be allowed to remain open.

The city also restricts large gatherings at such occasions as weddings, death anniversaries, birthday parties, and meetings, while local people are encouraged to stay home and work and study remotely through the Internet and television.

Religious, faith, and places of worship are also barred from organizing activities drawing large crowds of people.

Earlier, Chung only told bars, karaoke lounges, and several tourist sites in the capital to close through March 31. The new order added a number of other services to the scope of the ban.

The Vietnamese capital is the latest locality in Vietnam to follow in the footsteps of Ho Chi Minh City, which has shuttered all entertainment and amusement centers, restaurants, beer clubs, bars, catering businesses with a capacity of 30 customers and more, gyms, billiard clubs, beauty and hair salons, and barbershops from Tuesday evening.

The mass closures in the southern metropolis will last until the end of March.

The novel coronavirus, which first emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019, has infected over 423,300 people and killed more than 18,900 globally, according to Ministry of Health statistics. Over 100,300 cases have recovered.

Vietnam has so far confirmed 134 cases of new coronavirus infections, with 17 having fully recovered and been discharged from the hospital by Friday last week.

No death related to the disease has been recorded in the country.

Three of the 35 COVID-19 patients in Ho Chi Minh City have walked out of the hospital free of the virus.

Forty-three people have tested positive for the virus in Hanoi. 

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