Government imposes social distancing in Da Nang as Covid-19 resurfaces

By Nguyen Dong    July 26, 2020 | 09:19 pm PT
Government imposes social distancing in Da Nang as Covid-19 resurfaces
A medical staff disinfects the Da Nang Hospital, July 26, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Dong.
With three people contracting Covid-19 in Da Nang and 12 other suspected cases, the government has ordered social distancing in the city.

It will be in place for at least 14 days from Tuesday.

The government’s Directive 19 on social distancing requires people to maintain a distance of at least one meter from each other and prohibits gatherings of more than 20 people in public, except in offices, schools and hospitals.

Residents are encouraged to stay at home. Festivals, religious ceremonies, sports and other events that gather a large number of people are banned. "Non-essential" businesses including entertainment facilities, beauty salons, massage and karaoke parlors, and bars are closed.

"We have to be resolute, otherwise we will fail in this anti-pandemic campaign," Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said Monday.

Speaking at a meeting where it was decided to impose social distancing on Da Nang, he said: "We have not talked about a ‘lockdown’ for Da Nang at this time, but social distancing measures must be applied."

Starting from Monday afternoon, stricter social distancing rules have been applied in certain areas: Gathering of more than two have been banned around the Da Nang General Hospital, Hospital C and the Da Nang Orthopedic and Rehabilitation Hospital, which the patients visited just before they were diagnosed with Covid-19. The hospitals have been locked down.

Acting health minister Nguyen Thanh Long said: "The biggest outbreak is at three hospitals situated close to each other and the infections occurring in these hospitals are similar to those at Bach Mai Hospital in Hanoi, which used to be Vietnam's biggest Covid-19 hotspot."

The two-people gathering limit is also applied for certain residential areas along Quang Trung, Hai Phong and Dong Da Streets.

Da Nang People’s Committee Chairman Huynh Duc Tho said the pandemic situation has become worrisome with 12 people suspected to be infected and transmission among medical staff at hospitals.

The city had three cases of local transmission last weekend, the first in Vietnam in more than three months, with authorities have yet to identify the source of infection.

Da Nang plans to test 10,000 people.

It has banned entry for visitors and closed non-essential services like amusement parks, beauty parlors, karaoke and massage parlors, and bars from Sunday afternoon.

On Sunday, one more person, in nearby Quang Ngai Province, was also diagnosed with the disease.

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