Saigon officials want bars, clubs closed down to contain Covid-19

By Trung Son, Manh Tung   March 12, 2020 | 08:57 pm PT
Some HCMC officials want to temporarily close bars, discos, beer clubs, and the like to curb the spread of the Covid-19 epidemic.
A bar in Saigons District 5. Photo by VnExpress/Quoc Thang.

A bar in Saigon's District 5. Photo by VnExpress/Quoc Thang.

Tran Kim Yen, Party Secretary of District 1, said at a meeting on Thursday that the 180 discos and bars and 500 karaoke places in the city should be closed since the large number of people they attract increase the chances of infection.

The district's large population and numerous tourism sites are a recipe for spreading the infection and the places should only be opened again once the epidemic dies down, she said.

Nguyen Huu Hung, deputy director of the municipal Department of Health, agreed with her saying that entertainment activities in Saigon should be suspended to prevent the potential spread of infection.

Nguyen Thien Nhan, city Party Secretary, said relevant authorities should review the situation to decide if the closure is warranted.

While Saigon would not let the disease spread, commercial activities had to go on too, he pointed out.

The city should not let the number of patients go beyond 1,000 since that would create difficulties in treating them, he added.

It currently has one Covid-19 patient, a 24-year-old Vietnamese woman who returned from London by private jet on March 9, who is quarantined at the HCMC Hospital of Tropical Diseases.

Besides, 394 other people are isolated in quarantine zones in several districts and 594 at home for observation.

Vietnam has had 44 confirmed cases so far, 16 of whom recovered and were discharged from hospital.

The outbreak has spread to 127 countries and territories around the world, killing close to 5,000 people.

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