Ho Chi Minh City authorities ban on Friday small- and medium-scale restaurants from offering dine-in services as a number of confirmed and suspected COVID-19 cases have been detected at such eateries over the past three days.
The city’s chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong announced the ban, to take effect from 6:00 pm the same day until further notice, at a municipal meeting on COVID-19 prevention and control in the morning.
Small- and medium-scale restaurants are allowed to provide takeout and delivery services only, according to the ban.
Authorities have yet to specify what 'small' and 'medium' mean.
Customers come to these eateries for takeaway food must wear a face mask.
Fines will be imposed on violators detected via CCTV systems or other measures and technology equipment.
Restaurants with more than ten employees and located inside hotels are permitted to service no more than 20 diners at the same time.
Diners have to keep a distance from one another.
Phong also ordered the suspension of festivals, conferences, seminars, and religious ceremonies with 30 participants or more.
Gatherings of 20 or more people outside of offices, hospitals, and schools are also prohibited.
People must keep a minimum distance of two meters in public places and refrain from gathering on Nguyen Hue and Bui Vien Pedestrian Streets.
After 20 days registering no new local infections, Ho Chi Minh City has recorded five COVID-19 patients and three suspected cases in the community in the past three days, with the source of some of these infections believed to be from some central and northern localities.
Of the five locally-transmitted cases, three patients are a mother and her two children who live in the same house.
She runs a noodle soup eatery down the alley at 287 Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street, Ward 5, District 3.
They were confirmed on Thursday and their source of infection was determined on Friday to be from central Da Nang City.
Two other cases registered previously are office workers living in Thu Duc City and District 7.
One suspected patient, whose first test result returned positive for the virus, operates a family restaurant at his house down the alley at 954 Quang Trung Street in Ward 8, Go Vap District.
Another suspected case, who lives alone in a house at Phu Nhuan Market in the namesake district, rented out the premises to two people to sell coffee.
This person’s test result returned negative for the virus on Friday afternoon.
Another suspected infection, who is awaiting their COVID-19 testing result, visited three small eateries at Xom Chieu Market on the namesake street in District 4.
Ho Chi Minh City has logged a total of six local coronavirus cases during the current wave of infections.
This fourth wave, which erupted on April 27, follows a month without any known community transmission in Vietnam.
The country has so far registered 1,836 domestic infections in 30 provinces and cities in this bout, according to the Ministry of Health’s data.
The Ministry of Health has confirmed 4,883 local and imported coronavirus cases, including 2,689 recoveries, since the virus first hit Vietnam on January 23, 2020.
The pathogen-related death toll stands at 40, with most having suffered critical pre-existing health problems.