Two people have been fined for failing to wear face masks at a coffee shop in the central Vietnamese city of Da Nang, as local authorities are beefing up measures to contain the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) epidemic.
Le Anh, chairman of the People’s Committee in Hai Chau District, Da Nang, confirmed on Monday morning that competent authorities had imposed the fine upon two violators after inspecting a local coffee shop on Sunday.
The owner of the café and one of the customers were not wearing a face mask and were fined VND200,000 (US$8.5) each, pursuant to a 2013 government decree stipulating fines for administrative violations in the medical sector.
According to chairman Anh, the penalty is a way to remind all citizens to comply with the prime minister’s directions in the fight against the COVID-19 epidemic.
Local authorities will continue patrolling the city in the coming time and penalize those who fail to wear face masks in public, the chairman added.
The novel coronavirus, which first emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019, has infected over 723,700 people and killed more than 34,000 globally as of Monday afternoon, according to Ministry of Health statistics.
Vietnam has announced 194 COVID-19 patients so far, with 55 having been discharged from the hospital by Monday.
No fatality related to the disease has been reported in the country to date.
The Vietnamese government began requiring people to wear face masks at crowded public places like airports, bus stations, and supermarkets on March 16.
As the epidemic has become more complicated lately, it is now required that residents wear face masks whenever they are in public.
Starting from March 28, the prime minister has banned the gathering of more than 10 people outdoors and shut down all non-essential businesses.
All residents are asked to stay home and only leave their house when absolutely necessary.
They must practice social distancing by keeping a distance of at least two meters from others when in public areas.