Making news

Hanoi, HCM City issue rules for citizens to fight COVID-19

Two of the country’s biggest cities, Hanoi and HCM City, on March 27 issued a number of recommendations on social distancing for its citizens to follow amid growing concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic, effective March 28 until at least April 15.

All meetings or congregations with attendance of over 20 people in a room will be halted, and no gatherings of more than 10 people outside the workplace or schools will be allowed. For those meetings with fewer participants than these limits, measures such as sterilisation, face masks and temperature checks must be implemented.

Face masks will be mandatory and maintaining a distance of two metres between people is recommended in all public places.

Frequent hand washing is also recommended.

The two cities’ authorities have also urged for a “complete halt” to all religious gatherings, cultural or sports and other entertainment activities in public places.

Citizens are told to stay inside and refrain from going outside unless truly necessary.

Hanoi will stop all bus operations until April 15. Taxies will be ordered to lower the windowpanes, while both drivers and passengers must wear face masks at all times, and the vehicles must be sterilised after each trip.

Hanoi will order the closing of all businesses, except for these cases: supermarkets (but not ones that provide entertainment or ones that provide on-site meals), malls, traditional markets (only food, vegetable and fruit stalls), convenience stores, grocery stores, flower and fruit shops, agricultural produce chain stores, pharmacies; health care services centres; banking services, and gas and petrol stations.

Citizens are also urged to conduct their shopping online with delivery at home services.

The same will also apply in HCM City.

Schools and vocational training centres in Hanoi are told to stop until further notice.

HCM City will issue five million pamphlets that list 12 dos and don’ts to all households to “mobilise the whole city” to join in efforts in containing the outbreak within the next two weeks, considered to be the critical golden window that determines the scope of the outbreak in Vietnam.

The southern city even told its citizens to not have contact or do business with those not wearing face masks.

Starting March 28, HCM City will issue fines for anyone who fails to wear masks in public or maintain the two-metre distancing.

High-rise buildings and apartment buildings that are using air conditioners are told to switch to fan and ventilator systems and open the windows as much as possible. If air-conditioning is necessary, the temperature should be set at a minimum of 27 degrees Celsius.

Companies and businesses with offices in high-rise buildings are advised to organise remote working for its workers.