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Vietnam bans public gatherings of over two people in nationwide social distancing over COVID-19

Tuesday, March 31, 2020, 12:54 GMT+7
Vietnam bans public gatherings of over two people in nationwide social distancing over COVID-19
Passengers have their body temperature checked at a bus station in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

The Vietnamese government has demanded the implementation of social distancing all over the country, including a ban on public gatherings of more than two people, to fight the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) epidemic.

The entirety of Vietnam will practice mandatory social distancing from April 1 to 15, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said in a directive issued on Tuesday.

“Households are advised to keep a distance from households, villages from villages, communes from communes, districts from districts, and provinces from provinces,” according to the directive.

Factories have to be disinfected while workers are required to wear face masks and keep a safe distance from one another.

Everyone is requested to stay home and only go out under absolutely necessary circumstances such as trips for food, medicine, emergency care or for working at essential businesses, factories, and services that have been allowed to continue operating.

Citizens are required to maintain a minimum distance of two meters in social interaction, the prime minister said in the directive, insisting that the government bans any gathering of more than two people outside public offices, schools, hospitals, and in public spaces in general.

It is highly recommended that everyone voluntarily declare their health status, take all preventive measures to protect themselves and their family, and engage in COVID-19 prevention and control activities.

Leaders of enterprises, businesses, and service providers are responsible for taking on-site preventive measures to protect their employees.  

The Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Public Security, Hanoi authorities, and the Ho Chi Minh City administration are charged with suppressing the outbreaks at Bach Mai Hospital, located in the capital, and Buddha Bar & Grill in the southern hub by all means, including the tracing of suspected cases and infected patients’ close contacts.

Dozens of cases have been linked to Bach Mai Hospital and Buddha Bar & Grill.

Vietnam has confirmed 204 COVID-19 infections as of Tuesday afternoon, with 55 patients having fully recovered.

The country is trying its best to keep the number of patients under 1,000 for as long as possible, in the hope of completely controlling the epidemic in the end.

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