Ministry of Health urges localities to halt unnecessary services amid COVID-19 risk

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Sunny Club in Vĩnh Phúc Province. Five people working at the bar have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 after having close contact with a Chinese patient. The Ministry of Health has ordered local authorities to consider suspension of bars, karaoke parlours, discos and game rooms. — Photo

HÀ NỘI — The Ministry of Health has ordered local authorities to consider suspending unnecessary businesses and services including bars, karaoke parlours, discos and game rooms to prevent the spread of COVID-19 after a number of community cases were detected over the past few days.

In a document sent to municipal and provincial people’s committees on Sunday, the ministry said Việt Nam had recorded domestically-transmitted COVID-19 cases in certain localities over recent days, and the coronavirus could further spread.

However, many cities and provinces have become lax amid the new infections, the ministry said, citing big gatherings in public places like beaches and tourist sites without serious observance of COVID-19 prevention and control measures.

Given this, the ministry asked localities not to organise unnecessary activities with mass gatherings such as festivals and night markets, and seriously implement preventive measures, especially wearing masks in public places.

At an urgent meeting on responding to COVID-19 in the new situation on Sunday, Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính said some provinces and cities did not strictly take preventive measures and had lax supervision on COVID-19.

He asked all localities to deploy pandemic response plans “to be ready to conduct quick tests, zone off infection areas and contain the hot spots.”

Provinces and cities must continue to follow the 5K recommendations of the health ministry and avoid gatherings, curb illegal immigration and vaccinate more people, he said.

He asked authorities of Hà Nam, Yên Bái provinces and Đà Nẵng City to consider imposing strict punishments on individuals and groups who broke COVID-19 protocols and consider criminal charges.

The Cabinet leader requested localities to increase their testing capacity.

In a related move, Hà Nội authorities said people returning after the four-day long public holiday from April 30 to May 3 would be subject to compulsory medical declarations.

A large number of people in Hà Nội travelled to other localities during the holidays, posing high risks of spreading the disease in the community.

Anyone who shows signs of coughing, fever, shortness of breath, or other suspected symptoms of COVID-19 should go to the nearest medical facilities for further instruction.

Meanwhile, heads of organisations and agencies in the city must be responsible for medical declarations of their staff, and local authorities for those of residents.

The municipal police are assigned to direct their lower units to make a list of returnees after the holidays, promote COVID-19 prevention measures, and strictly punish any violations.

Local authorities of Hà Nam Province proposed imposing punishments on a man who spread the coronavirus among the community.

The 28-year-old man, returning from Japan, did not follow self-quarantine regulations as recommended after the 14-day mandatory period but had parties and visited places, spreading the virus to others.

The People’s Committee of Hà Nam Province ordered imposing administrative fines and considering criminal charges in the case.

Lương Thanh Ngọc, head of the clinic of Đạo Lý Commune, Lý Nhân District, Hà Nam, must be held responsible for lacking control regarding the case, resulting in the community infection.

Local authorities are considering fines for Ngọc. — VNS

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