Firework displays to welcome Tết last year. VNA/VNS Photo
HÀ NỘI — The Ministry of Health has asked cities and provinces nationwide to cancel firework displays for Tết (Lunar New Year), which falls on January 31, as concerns rise over a spike in COVID-19 cases.
In an official dispatch sent to the Government on COVID-19 pandemic prevention and control during Tết, the ministry said localities need to strengthen preventive measures that allow people to safely enjoy the upcoming nine-day holiday.
It has asked localities to consider the cancellation of firework displays amid an increasing number of COVID-19 cases nationwide, especially in big cities with high population density and traffic. In addition, the Omicron variant has been spreading rapidly with complicated and unpredictable developments in many countries and around the world.
In case localities insist on holding firework shows, the ministry has warned them not to lower their guard against the virus and avoid gatherings around the firework locations.
The ministry has urged localities to step up checks and supervision of entertainment activities, festivals and religious ceremonies with crowds before, during and after Tết, depending on the COVID-19 situation in each locality.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Việt Nam has recorded 2,045,290 COVID-19 cases, ranking 28th out of 224 countries and territories.
On average, over the past seven days, the whole country has recorded more than 11,000 community cases and about 200 deaths per day.
The ministry said it is necessary to continue to strengthen measures for pandemic prevention and control, especially strictly implementing surveillance at entry points to promptly detect new cases of Omicron infection.
Localities cancel Tết festivals
Many cities and provinces have announced the cancellation of festivals for the Tết holiday.
The People’s Committee of central Hà Tĩnh Province has decided to cancel all firework shows and festivals.
Monuments, museums, libraries and cinemas are still allowed to open, but must follow pandemic prevention and control regulations. Other activities such as weddings and funerals must avoid large numbers of people.
Tourism sites and service businesses must follow regulations on pandemic prevention and control to serve tourists.
Meanwhile, the People’s Committee of central Nghệ An Province has decided to stop all festivals until the end of March.
In northern Thái Bình Province, the Trần Temple Festival and the Culture, Sports and Tourism Festival will no longer take place during the Tết holiday. This is the second year the province had to suspend the festival due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
All festivals in the northern Bắc Ninh Province have also been cancelled.
In northern Điện Biên, Hà Nam, Ninh Bình provinces, the central highlands province of Lâm Đồng and southern Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu Province, no festivals or firework displays will take place. — VNS