A message advising residents against unnecessarily leaving their homes is being played before calls connect in some areas of Vietnam in a move hoped to improve compliance with a social distancing advisory during the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) epidemic.
The Ministry of Information and Communications has issued an official dispatch tasking all local mobile carriers – Viettel, MobiFone, VNPT (Vinaphone), Gtel, Vietnamobile, and Dong Duong Telecom – with integrating the public service announcement into the hold music for all domestic calls made from mobile devices.
“The Ministry of Health requests that all citizens not leave their homes unless under absolutely necessary circumstances,” the concise message says.
The message is being played before every call made from Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, Quang Ninh, and Quang Nam until the end of April 4.
According to the Vietnam Telecommunications Authority under the Ministry of Information and Communications, this is a necessary move to inform the public and implement the government’s measures to fend off COVID-19.
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc signed a decision to formally declare the disease a nationwide pandemic on Wednesday.
Vietnam implements social distancing with a ban on public gatherings of more than two people from April 1 to 15.
Residents are advised to stay home and only go out under really necessary circumstances such as trips for food, medicine, emergency care or for working at essential businesses, factories, and services allowed to continue operating.
Vietnam has confirmed 212 COVID-19 patients so far, with 63 having recovered and no deaths recorded.