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Hanoi closes pedestrian streets, festivals for fear of COVID-19 spread

Wednesday, April 28, 2021, 16:40 GMT+7
Hanoi closes pedestrian streets, festivals for fear of COVID-19 spread
A corner of the Hoan Kiem Lake promenade in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Pham Tuan / Tuoi Tre

Hanoi authorities have decided to pause all festivals and pedestrian streets as grave threats of another COVID-19 outbreak emerge.

The decision was prescribed in an official statement on COVID-19 prevention guidance in the capital, issued by the municipal Party Committee on Tuesday.

The document emphasized that festivals and pedestrian zones in the city will be put on hold, while unnecessary public gatherings would not be approved.

For conventions that get the green light, strict adherence to COVID-19 prevention protocols is required.

The city opens two pedestrian zones near the waterfront of Hoan Kiem Lake and West Lake every weekend.

Measures such as area outlining, contact tracing, and quarantine will be rolled out immediately when infection is detected.

However, the COVID-19 prevention effort in the city should also consider the possible adverse effect of urgent measures, such as isolation and social distancing, on business operations and daily life before rolling them out, the Party Committee stressed.

Violations of COVID-19 prevention regulations would not be tolerated, while illegal entries, or returnees from outbreak areas that fail to file medical declarations, would also be handled.

The document requires lower-level authorities in Hanoi to strictly comply with the 5K recommendations, which stand for 'Khau trang' (face mask donning) - 'Khu khuan' (disinfection) - 'Khoang cach' (distancing) - 'Khong tu tap' (no gathering) - 'Khai bao y te' (health declaration).

As Vietnamese residents are taking advantage of the upcoming four-day holiday from April 30 to May 3 to travel in droves, plus the national election that would select legislators for Vietnam’s 14th National Assembly is slated for May 23, Hanoi officials called on all relevant bodies to maintain diligent effort and prevent threats of another virus outbreak.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Vietnam has documented 2,857 COVID-19 cases, with 2,516 recoveries and 35 deaths.

The country has gone more than 30 days in a row without any COVID-19 case in the community.

Meanwhile, the pandemic situation in neighboring countries has become increasingly complicated.

The number of COVID-19 cases in Cambodia has surged to over 11,000, with daily spikes recorded in the hundreds, while its fatalities have risen to 82.

Thailand’s tally has mounted to almost 60,000, with more than 160 deaths, whereas Laos has locked down its capital to prevent transmission.

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