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Southern localities adopt social distancing to contain Covid-19

By Minh Nga   July 12, 2021 | 01:27 am PT
Southern localities adopt social distancing to contain Covid-19
Drivers entering Can Tho City are stopped at a Covid-19 checkpoint, July 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Cuu Long.
In wake of newly-emerged Covid-19 community outbreaks, cities and provinces in southern Vietnam have applied social distancing measures one after another.

Mekong Delta’s Tien Giang Province imposed social distancing in line with Directive 16 across 10 districts and towns, except for Tan Phu Dong District where Directive 15 is imposed, for 15 days starting Monday.

Directive 15 requires suspension of social events, bans gatherings of 20 people or more in one place and of 10 people or more outside workplaces, schools, and hospitals. A minimum distance of two meters has to be ensured between people in public.

Directive 16 is stricter as it requires residents to stay home and only go out for basic necessities such as buying food or medicines or to work at factories or businesses that are allowed to open. No more than two people can gather in public apart from workplaces, schools or hospitals, with the majority of public transportation shut down and no travel to other localities.

Binh Phuoc Province, three hours north of Ho Chi Minh City, has applied the policy since Sunday, imposing Directive 16 in Chon Thanh District and Directive 15 on the rest of the province, home to around one million people.

Also Sunday, Can Tho City, Mekong Delta capital, announced it would put its Ninh Kieu and Cai Rang districts under Directive 16 and the rest of the city under Directive 15.

An Giang has made a similar move, with Directive 15 taking effect across the 2.5-million strong province starting Sunday.

Dong Thap Province, the worst-hit locality with more than 600 community infections, has ordered its Sa Dec Town and four districts of Chau Thanh, Lai Vung, Lap Vo and Cao Lanh to impose Directive 16.

The beach town of Vung Tau in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province that borders HCMC on Monday sought permission to place the entire town under Directive 16.

The social distancing policy has been applied for a few days already in HCMC neighbors Dong Nai and Binh Duong provinces.

Vietnam started suffering a new Covid-19 wave on April 27 and since then, cases have soared to over 28,000 in 58 of the nation’s 63 cities and provinces.

In the past weeks, HCMC and southern localities have been among those hardest hit, with HCMC leading the country in the number of infections, at 14,435 as of Monday noon.

The city has been put under Directive 16 since Friday after adopting Directive 15 for a month.

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