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Vietnam locks down northern city, bans people from leaving it over coronavirus

Sunday, August 16, 2020, 16:01 GMT+7
Vietnam locks down northern city, bans people from leaving it over coronavirus
This photo shows a closed-down English language center in Hai Duong City, Hai Duong Province, northern Vietnam. Photo: Vu Loan / Tuoi Tre

Officials have sealed off a city in northern Vietnam since midnight on Sunday as five domestically-transmitted COVID-19 cases have been confirmed there since late last month.

Local authorities were required to lock down areas in Hai Duong City, the capital of the eponymous northern province, where a 15-year-old patient had visited, Le Dinh Long, secretary of the city’s Party Committee, said on Saturday.

Police were asked to speed up contact tracing and isolation of related regions.

The Hai Duong administration has shut down some of its entrances and required all citizens not to leave the city, except when local authorities grant them permission and under essential circumstances.

All vehicles will be allowed to enter or exit the city only when they transport essential supplies.

Drivers will have to declare their health status, provide travel routes, have their body temperature measured, and get their vehicles disinfected, as per regulations.

The city has also closed restaurants, including delivery, beauty services, hairdressers and barbers, and other businesses that are at high risk of COVID-19 infection.

This photo shows a shuttered restaurant in Hai Duong City, Hai Duong Province, northern Vietnam. Photo: Vu Loan / Tuoi Tre

This photo shows a shuttered restaurant in Hai Duong City, Hai Duong Province, northern Vietnam. Photo: Vu Loan / Tuoi Tre

Inter-province buses are banned from crossing Hai Duong City while local taxis are permitted to carry only one passenger.

Crowded and religious events are completely prohibited.

The lockdown will be in place from Saturday until further notice.

Two firms based in Hai Duong City have asked over 500 workers to stay home after exposure to infected patients to stall transmission.

The city has confirmed five community-based infections since July 25, when Da Nang, a touristy city on the central coast, recorded Vietnam’s first local transmission after the country had gone 99 days without documenting any domestic coronavirus case, according to the Ministry of Health.

The Southeast Asian country has logged 477 local infections ever since, most traced back to the beach city.

Vietnam’s COVID-19 tally has reached 951, with 449 having recovered and 24 fatalities as of Sunday afternoon.

The virus has spread from Da Nang to 14 other provinces and cities, including two hubs Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

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