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Buddha bar, once Saigon’s COVID-19 epicenter, changes name, removes religious theme

Friday, July 10, 2020, 14:23 GMT+7
Buddha bar, once Saigon’s COVID-19 epicenter, changes name, removes religious theme
People raise their glasses at Buddha Bar & Grill in District 2, Ho Chi Minh City in this photo posted to the bar’s Facebook page, now taken down.

Buddha Bar & Grill, once the start of a notorious novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cluster in Ho Chi Minh City, has changed its name to ‘Nameless Bar’ and rid itself of its religious theme and decorations.

The changes were confirmed by the People’s Committee in District 2 in a document submitted to the municipal administration.

Accordingly, owners of Buddha Bar & Grill previously carried out procedures to change its name to Quan Khong Ten (Nameless Bar).

A team of officials from the city’s Department of Cultural and Sports and Department of Information and Communications has examined the new venue and approved its reopening.

The owners have already removed the bar’s old signboard and all religious signs, images, and decorations, according to the officials.

Nameless Bar is now operating with a brand new business license.

The District 2 People’s Committee has requested relevant agencies to continue supervising the operation of the venue to make sure it complies with regulations and applies necessary measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Buddha Bar & Grill, located in Thao Dien Ward, District 2, a neighborhood populated with high-end villas and a vibrant community of foreigners, was considered the largest COVID-19 cluster in southern Vietnam.

A total of 19 COVID-19 cases, including Patient No. 91, a British man who was Vietnam’s most seriously sickened COVID-19 patient, were traced to the bar.

The venue has been shuttered since mid-March.

On March 25, the Ho Chi Minh City Buddhist Liaison Committee asked local authorities to order Buddha Bar & Grill to change its name and stop using Buddhist images, posters, and artifacts as decorations.

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