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Nearly 2,500 fined for failure to wear face masks in Ho Chi Minh City

Friday, April 10, 2020, 11:51 GMT+7
Nearly 2,500 fined for failure to wear face masks in Ho Chi Minh City
An official reminds citizens to wear a face mask in public in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, March 28, 2020. Photo: Minh Hoa / Tuoi Tre

Authorities in Ho Chi Minh City have so far booked nearly 2,500 cases of failure to wear face masks in public and imposed fines worth over US$21,200, in accordance with regulations on the prevention of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

A total of 2,482 cases of the violation have been recorded in the southern metropolis since March 28, Le Thanh Liem, vice-chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, reported during a teleconference held on Thursday to discuss anti-epidemic efforts with the central government.

The offenders were slapped with fines totaling VND496 million ($21,264), Liem added.

Vietnam has issued regulations making it mandatory for all citizens to wear face masks while outdoors and has warned of fines for those who disobey.

Ho Chi Minh City began penalizing people for failing to wear face masks in public on March 28, doling out fines ranging from VND200,000 ($8.50) to VND300,000 ($12.80).

City authorities are also continuing their inspections of local enterprises in order to evaluate the risk of COVID-19 infection at business facilities. 

Ward and commune administrations have been tasked with ensuring safety at businesses with less than 1,000 workers, while district-level People’s Committees are responsible for inspecting firms hiring 1,000-3,000 employees.

Enterprises with more than 3,000 workers will be inspected by the municipal Department of Health, in coordination with the Department of Industry and Trade and the city’s labor federation.

According to vice-chairman Liem, Ho Chi Minh City has been doing a good job at controlling the epidemic.

The city has recorded 54 cases so far and successfully treated 37 patients.

About 12,000 people have been brought to local quarantine camps, of whom 11,400 have already finished their 14-day mandatory isolation.

The city’s largest infection cluster – the Buddha bar in District 2 – is now under control, Liem said.

At least 18 COVID-19 cases have been linked to the cluster, while authorities have sampled 4,211 people traced to this venue.

Most of them have tested negative for COVID-19 so far, Liem stated, adding that only 32 are still waiting for their test results.

The novel coronavirus, which first emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019, has infected over 1.6 million people and killed more than 95,600 globally as of Friday morning, according to Ministry of Health statistics.

Vietnam has confirmed 255 total COVID-19 cases, with 128 having recovered. 

The country has yet to record a death from the disease.

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