Thursday, 24 September 2020

Vietnam records no new COVID-19 as economy reopens

Vietnam continues to keep COVID-19 at bay having recorded no new infections for two days straight as of Sunday, 26 April. To date, the country has recorded 270 cases of coronavirus infection with zero deaths. Of the 270 cases, only 45 remain active as of press time. Some 230 patients have already been discharged from hospitals previously while five have relapsed. 

The news comes as the country has begun gradually easing social distancing restrictions that have hampered the economy. In Decree No. 19 issued Saturday, 25 April, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc laid out new guidelines that aim to restart the economy while keeping the viral disease contained. 

The decree allows centrally-directed provinces and cities to lift certain restrictions depending on their situation on the ground. However, these areas must ensure that the disease remains controlled, particularly in major cities such as Ho Chi Minh City and capital Hanoi. 

Public transport, including inter-provincial ones, may resume as long as the transport ministry’s guidelines on preventive measures are observed.

Some businesses – such as retail and wholesale stores, accommodation, restaurants and eateries, sports centres and lottery – can now be reopened. Tourist sites and historical relics are allowed to resume operations as well. Nevertheless, social distancing measures remain in effect. Employees must be provided with the necessary protective gear, temperature checks will remain mandatory at entrances and arrivals, and disinfection guidelines are still in place. Manufacturing businesses and factors could resume operations too provided all workers are adequately protected.

After months of being closed, schools can now begin reopening. However, the government has directed schools to reduce the number of students in each class so that social distancing is observed. Alternate schedules should be in place as well to avoid crowding and online classes should be held where possible. 

Sporting events, religious gatherings, festivals or any event that will have a large crowd in public places, as well as other “unnecessary major events,” shall remain banned. Entertainment venues and other non-essential service businesses will remain closed as well, such as beauty salons, bars, pubs, massage parlours, karaoke bars, and other businesses local authorities may add in their respective decisions.

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