HANOI (AFP) – Two million people in Vietnam will be put under a raft of restrictions starting today after their northern province became the epicentre of a growing COVID-19 outbreak.
Residents of Hai Duong province have been ordered to stay at home for 15 days, state mediaVietnam reported, as a nation widely praised for its handling of the pandemic struggles to extinguish a troubling new outbreak.
Since late January, Vietnam has recorded 637 locally transmitted coronavirus cases, including 461 in Hai Duong province alone.
“People (in Hai Duong) are asked to stay at home and only go out when necessary, such as to buy food or medicine, or to work at factories or production establishments that are not being asked to close,” said the official mouthpiece of Vietnam’s health ministry, Suc Khoe Doi Song.
Gatherings of more than two people will be banned, while schools, bars, restaurants and karaoke parlours that were shut early ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday will remain closed.
When they must go outside their homes, residents are instructed to stay two metres from others.
Traffic through the province of two million will also be limited, state media reported, with only vehicles travelling on essential business allowed to enter.