Hanoi reinstates mask mandate in crowded spaces amid Covid resurgence

Hanoi, April 19 (IANS) Hanoi has updated its guidance to ask people to wear face masks in crowded public places as the number of Covid-19 cases has increased to a level that makes the Vietnamese capital the worst affected city in the country, local media reported on Wednesday.

People must wear masks on public transport which is an enclosed place with a higher risk of transmission of the virus, the Hanoi government said in a notification issued ahead of a five-day holiday starting on April 22, reports Xinhua news agency.

Wearing a face mask is also obligatory for workers at supermarkets, shopping malls and outdoor wholesale markets, who constantly come in direct contact with customers.

Workers at indoor public areas such as bars, discos, karaoke and massage parlours, beauty salons, gyms, restaurants, cinemas, theatres, circuses, and gymnasiums are required to always wear masks.

Masks are also compulsory for service staff, managers and attendees at cultural facilities and tourist attractions and other public venues that draw a great number of people.

Local health authorities are advised to remain vigilant, keep a close watch on the outbreak developments, get ready for response measures, accelerate vaccinations, and strengthen pandemic safety practices at workplaces, schools, and healthcare facilities.

Vietnam has recorded a rapid spread of Covid-19 over the past month, from 278 cases in the first week of April to 2,000 cases in the second week.

Hanoi has been affected the most with an average of 96 cases a day.

Since the pandemic first erupted in early 2020, Vietnam has reported a total of 11,533,625 Covid cases and 43,186 deaths.



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