No mask, no entry to public spaces, warns Hanoi deputy chairman

By Vo Hai   November 11, 2020 | 09:30 pm PT
No mask, no entry to public spaces, warns Hanoi deputy chairman
Authorities remind a woman to wear masks at the Hoan Kiem District's walking streets in Hanoi, November 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Tat Dinh.
People without masks will not be allowed to enter public places in Hanoi, which is bracing for the onset of winter, when the threat of Covid-19 could increase.

Officials would carry out checks to ensure people do not flout the regulation, especially at hospitals, markets, supermarkets, malls, and bus stations, Ngo Van Quy, deputy chairman of the city People’s Committee, said on Wednesday.

"Guards will be stationed at those locations. Anyone without a mask will not be allowed in. Masks must be sold right at their entrance."

People do not wear masks regularly, and with the onset of winter, negligence could cause new infections in the community, stymieing all efforts to contain the disease, he said.

Authorities need to continue propagating the need to wear masks in public, monitoring quarantine zones and looking out for illegal immigrants, he said.

Nguyen Khac Hien, director of the city Department of Health, said many people do not wear masks in public since they are not reminded of the need.

Tran Thi Nhi Ha, the department’s deputy director, said surprise checks at Hoan Kiem District’s walking streets last Sunday found that many people wore masks but took them off soon after being checked.

"When asked why they did not wear masks, everyone said they needed to talk and eat."

She added that the city needs to propagate better the warnings about fines for not wearing masks, which range from VND1 million to VND3 million ($43-129).

The situation is no better at markets and supermarkets, which often have large numbers of people. For instance, the Gia Lam District People’s Committee said only around 10 percent of people wear masks in local markets.

Tran Thi Phuong Lan, deputy director of the Department of Industry and Trade, pointed out that markets, supermarkets and malls are crowded this month due to sales and discounts.

Her department has instructed shops to check customers’ temperature and remind them to wear masks, but markets and supermarkets have not done enough, she said.

Hanoi has gone almost three months without local transmission of Covid-19, while the country has gone for over two months without one.

Vietnam has recorded 1,252 cases so far with 123 still active. Thirty five have died, many being elderly patients with underlying conditions like diabetes and kidney failure.

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