Only takeaways allowed in HCMC as new coronavirus cluster surfaces

By Huu Cong   May 27, 2021 | 12:03 am PT
Only takeaways allowed in HCMC as new coronavirus cluster surfaces
A restaurant in HCMC's Binh Thanh District erects a sign saying it only serves takeaways, May 22, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Ha An.
Restaurants and cafes in Ho Chi Minh City are only allowed to serve takeaways while hair salons are suspended starting Thursday as the city deals with a major coronavirus cluster.

The decision was made by the chairman of the municipal People's Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong at noon Thursday as the southern metropolis detected a coronavirus cluster among members of the religious Revival Ekklesisa Mission in Go Vap District.

Restaurants located inside hotels are only allowed to serve residents, while all religious activities involving 10 people or more are suspended, said Phong.

It is a step towards tighter coronavirus restrictions after the city requested small food stalls with fewer than 10 employees to only allow takeaways, and other restaurants and food vendors to serve no more than 20 people at once, five days prior. The previous restriction still allowed festivals, meetings and religious activities with under 30 people.

Social distancing measures must be applied in high-density shopping areas like malls and markets.

Nguyen Van Nen, the municipal Party Committee Secretary, said the city should request its medical authorities to perform mass Covid-19 testing.

Phong said HCMC's current coronavirus crisis may last longer than others, as the infection source of several new coronavirus cases remain to be identified.

HCMC's latest coronavirus cluster was detected after three members of Revival Ekklesia Mission, a Christian congregation, sought health checks with respiratory conditions at Gia Dinh Hospital in Binh Thanh District on Wednesday and tested positive.

Contact tracing efforts have unearthed several new coronavirus cases related to these patients, amounting to at least 25 people as of noon Thursday.

Infectees have either lived, worked or had contact with people in 16 districts across HCMC.

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