HCMC closes 'non-essential' businesses after Covid-19 surge

By Huu Cong   February 8, 2021 | 07:13 am PT
HCMC closes 'non-essential' businesses after Covid-19 surge
Bars and karaoke parlors in HCMC's Bui Vien walking street are closed under the city's order due to Covid 19, March 15, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
The HCMC administration has shut down bars, karaoke parlors, cinemas and discotheques, and banned religious events starting Tuesday.

Chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong made the announcement Monday afternoon after the city’s Covid-19 community transmission cases rose to 31 in eight districts since the country's latest outbreak began Jan. 28. Twenty five of these were confirmed Monday evening.

Phong said all cultural, sports and entertainment activities, beauty salons, massage parlors, internet cafes, wedding centers, theaters, gyms and pool table services will also be suspended from noon Tuesday until further notice.

Religious events with gatherings of more than 20 people are prohibited.

Gas stations, shops selling "essential" goods like pharmacies and medical facilities will operate normally, complying with preventive measures.

The Nguyen Hue flower street will not have its scheduled opening ceremony, and will only open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. People who do not wear masks will be strictly fined.

Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long said that the Covid-19 situation in HCMC has become very complicated because it has gone through many cycles of infection, so the starting point of the transmission chain is yet to be identified.

He added that the number of patients in the city related to the Tan Son Nhat International Airport outbreak might continue to rise.

The Health Ministry Monday sent Deputy Minister Nguyen Truong Son to HCMC to support the city in handling its outbreak.

Thirty of the 31 latest Covid-19 cases in HCMC are related to the Tan Son Nhat airport outbreak.

This is the second time the city has stopped all "non-essential" services over the pandemic, the first being last March.

Vietnam has confirmed 467 Covid-19 cases in 12 cities and provinces since Jan. 28.

The national tally stands at 2,050 cases with 1,472 recoveries and 35 deaths.

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