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Hanoi closes temple after droves worship amid stay-at-home appeal

Thursday, August 20, 2020, 15:46 GMT+7
Hanoi closes temple after droves worship amid stay-at-home appeal
Visitors crowd Tay Ho Temple in Tay Ho District, Hanoi, August 19, 2020. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

Authorities in Hanoi have temporarily shuttered Tay Ho Temple in the namesake district after hundreds of people ignored the city’s stay-at-home appeal to visit it for worshipping on Wednesday.

Tay Ho Temple (Phu Tay Ho) in Tay Ho District is a popular place of worship for Buddhists as well as foreign tourists.

Hundreds of visitors flocked to the temple for worship ceremonies on Wednesday morning, as it was the first day of the seventh lunar month, when people believe that the gate to the underworld opens, allowing spirits to return to the living world for the whole month.

Hanoi has been warning local residents against going outside unless absolutely necessary to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Gatherings of more than 30 people in public places outside of offices, schools, and hospitals are also restricted, while people are asked to stay at least one meter from one another in public.

The city has also suspended festivals, religious ceremonies, sports tournaments, and events that draw large crowds.

Visitors crowd Tay Ho Temple in Tay Ho District, Hanoi, August 19, 2020. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

Visitors crowd Tay Ho Temple in Tay Ho District, Hanoi, August 19, 2020. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

A calligrapher wears a face shield to avoid droplets at Tay Ho Temple in Tay Ho District, Hanoi, August 19, 2020. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

A calligrapher wears a face shield to avoid droplets at Tay Ho Temple in Tay Ho District, Hanoi, August 19, 2020. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

Visitors crowd Tay Ho Temple in Tay Ho District, Hanoi, August 19, 2020. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

Visitors crowd Tay Ho Temple in Tay Ho District, Hanoi, August 19, 2020. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

According to Do Anh Tuan, chairman of Tay Ho District, although Tay Ho Temple was crowded on Wednesday morning, safety measures such as taking visitors’ body temperature, offering hand sanitizer, keeping a safe distance among worshippers, and allowing no more than 30 visitors in one place were ensured.

But as the number of visitors to the temple hiked in the afternoon, hampering the disease prevention and control efforts, Tuan ordered the temporary closure of the venue from 3:00 pm on the same day.

“In the coming days, if more people continue to come to Phu Tay Ho, the district will extend the temporary closure,” Tuan said.

Hanoi has logged 157 cases of COVID-19, including 12 domestic infections since July 25, when Vietnam reported the first local transmission after 99 days, according to the Ministry of Health.

One-hundred and thirty-nine patients in Hanoi have recovered and none have died due to the viral disease in the capital city.

The national COVID-19 tally stood at 994 cases, with 533 recoveries and 25 virus-related deaths as of Thursday morning.

Visitors crowd Tay Ho Temple in Tay Ho District, Hanoi, August 19, 2020. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

Visitors crowd Tay Ho Temple in Tay Ho District, Hanoi, August 19, 2020. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

Visitors crowd Tay Ho Temple in Tay Ho District, Hanoi, August 19, 2020. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

Visitors crowd Tay Ho Temple in Tay Ho District, Hanoi, August 19, 2020. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

Visitors crowd Tay Ho Temple in Tay Ho District, Hanoi, August 19, 2020. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

Visitors crowd Tay Ho Temple in Tay Ho District, Hanoi, August 19, 2020. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

A visitor cleans his hands with sanitizer before entering Tay Ho Temple in Tay Ho District, Hanoi, August 19, 2020. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

A visitor cleans his hands with sanitizer before entering Tay Ho Temple in Tay Ho District, Hanoi, August 19, 2020. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

Visitors crowd Tay Ho Temple in Tay Ho District, Hanoi, August 19, 2020. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

Visitors crowd Tay Ho Temple in Tay Ho District, Hanoi, August 19, 2020. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

A notification board reminding visitors to practice safety measures to avoid novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is erected at an entrance to Tay Ho Temple in Tay Ho District, Hanoi, August 19, 2020. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

A notification board reminding visitors to practice safety measures to avoid novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is erected at an entrance to Tay Ho Temple in Tay Ho District, Hanoi, August 19, 2020. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

A notification board reminding visitors to practice safety measures to avoid novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is hung on a tree at Tay Ho Temple in Tay Ho District, Hanoi, August 19, 2020. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

A notification board reminding visitors to practice safety measures to avoid novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is hung on a tree at Tay Ho Temple in Tay Ho District, Hanoi, August 19, 2020. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

Visitors crowd Tay Ho Temple in Tay Ho District, Hanoi, August 19, 2020. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tr

Visitors crowd Tay Ho Temple in Tay Ho District, Hanoi, August 19, 2020. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

This photo shows Tay Ho Temple in Tay Ho District, Hanoi after authorities ordered its temporary closure from 3:00 pm August 19, 2020. Photo: Ngoc Long / Tuoi Tre

This photo shows Tay Ho Temple in Tay Ho District, Hanoi after authorities ordered its temporary closure from 3:00 pm August 19, 2020. Photo: Ngoc Long / Tuoi Tre

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