Fireworks on Lunar New Year's Eve canceled amid Covid-19 fears

By Nguyen Quy   February 4, 2021 | 08:08 pm PT
Fireworks on Lunar New Year's Eve canceled amid Covid-19 fears
An ambulance car carries people who tested positive for coronavirus to a hospital in Ha Long, Quang Ninh Province, February 2, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Minh Cuong.
Many localities have decided to cancel fireworks shows on Lunar New Year's Eve, a long-standing tradition, to limit crowds amid the latest Covid-19 outbreak.

Authorities in Ha Long Town in the northern province of Quang Ninh, home to world natural heritage site Ha Long Bay, announced the suspension and will instead use the money earmarked for it to buy medical equipment to test all locals.

Ha Long has had a number of Covid-19 cases in the new wave that began in Vietnam last week, all linked to an employee at Van Don Airport.

The southern province of Binh Duong, home to a number of industrial parks, will also cancel fireworks shows and focus its resources on the Covid-19 fight. Five cases of infection have been found so far.

Gia Lai Province in the Central Highlands, which has diagnosed 18 cases, has canceled the fireworks, all Tet festivals and crowded events and closed non-essential establishments like karaoke parlors, bars and dance clubs. The Ministry of Health has sent two teams of medical experts from HCMC to Gia Lai to support its containment efforts.

Hung Yen, Ha Nam and Vinh Phuc provinces in the north, all close to Hai Duong, the epicenter, have all announced cancelations of fireworks shows.

Hanoi, which has 22 cases, will only have one fireworks show instead of the originally planned 30, and people will not be allowed to gather to watch it.

Hai Phong, around two hours east of Hanoi, will only set off fireworks at one venue on Do Son Beach, instead of 12 as planned. All crowded events, arts shows and traditional festivals have been suspended in the city where one case has been found.

The new wave of Covid-19, caused by the fast-spreading U.K. variant, began just a couple of weeks before Tet, Vietnam's biggest and most important festival, an occasion for family reunions, big gatherings and home parties. It peaks on February 12 this year.

Since the outbreak began last Thursday, the Health Ministry has confirmed 375 people with Covid-19.

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