Hanoi scraps all but one fireworks show amid Covid-19 fears

By Tat Dinh, Giang Chinh   February 2, 2021 | 11:45 pm PT
Hanoi scraps all but one fireworks show amid Covid-19 fears
Fireworks seen over the Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi January 1, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh.
Authorities in Hanoi will only allow one fireworks show on Lunar New Year's Eve, instead of the planned 30 amid the latest Covid-19 outbreak.

The city is seeking a suitable venue for its high-altitude fireworks performance on Lunar New Year's Eve, which falls on Feb. 11. No large gatherings at the venue to watch fireworks will be allowed to ensure Covid-19 prevention measures as the city has recorded 21 infections, all linked to the major clusters in neighboring Hai Duong and Quang Ninh provinces, the country's major coronavirus hotspots.

In addition, city authorities are yet to decide whether festivals and events for the Lunar New Year holiday could commence.

Earlier, Hanoi planned to set off fireworks at 30 venues, including six high-altitude shows at the Sword Lake in Hoan Kiem District, Lac Long Quan Flower Garden in Tay Ho District, My Dinh Stadium in Nam Tu Liem District, Thong Nhat Park in Hai Ba Trung District, the Van Quan Lake in Ha Dong District, and Son Tay Ancient Citadel in the outlying Son Tay District.

Authorities in Hanoi, less than two hours to the east of Hai Duong, have locked down 10 areas where infections were confirmed. The city has shut down all bars, karaoke parlors, and discotheques, as well as video game and internet parlors.

Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long said at a meeting with city authorities Monday that Hanoi should consider applying social distancing on a wider scale as the pandemic situation in the capital has turned complicated.

Hai Phong City, around two hours east of Hanoi, will also only set off fireworks at one venue by Do Son Beach, instead of 12 locations as planned. Other crowded events, arts shows and traditional festivals have been suspended as the city reported one locally-transmitted case.

The new wave of Covid-19 community transmissions in Vietnam caused by the fast-spreading U.K. variant comes just a couple of weeks before Tet, Vietnam's biggest and most important festival, an occasion for family reunions, big gatherings and home parties.

Since the new wave reemerged in Vietnam last Thursday, the country has recorded 310 community transmissions.

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