PM orders strict nationwide social distancing rules, starting April 1

March 31, 2020 - 13:24

Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc’s has issued an order on social distancing, restricting people from leaving their homes and banning gatherings of more than two people in public. The order will apply nationwide for 15 days, starting Wednesday April 1, in order to limit the spread of COVID-19.


A worker sets up a barrier around a COVID-19 quick test station at the National Economics University in Hà Nội on Tuesday. — VNA/VNS Photo Minh Quyết

HÀ NỘI — Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc on Tuesday has issued a range of stringent social distancing measures, including restricting people from leaving their homes and banning gatherings of more than two people in public.

The order will apply nationwide for 15 days, starting Wednesday, April 1, in order to limit the spread of COVID-19 that has showed no signs of abating.

"The principle is that each family isolates itself from other families, one village from other villages, one commune from other communes, one province from other provinces," the directive said.

Only factories, businesses and service establishments producing and providing essential goods and services are allowed to open and asked to ensure workers follow strict health guidelines. This includes ensuring they wear face masks, keep a safe distance from each other and make sure areas are properly disinfected and sterilised.

All people are ordered to stay at home and only go out in case of emergencies, buying food or medicine, or going to work at factories and essential services that are not closed down or halt operations. If leaving the house, people are to keep a minimum distance of two metres from others. Any gathering of more than two people in public outside of offices, schools and hospitals is prohibited.

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The Prime Minister requested all citizens to obey and strictly follow preventative measures, declare their health status, protect their own families and cooperate with authorities to fight COVID-19.

The Ministry of Health (MoH), Ministry of Public Security (MPS), and people’s committees of Hà Nội and HCM City are urged to pull out all the stops to contain outbreaks at Bạch Mai Hospital and Buddha Bar, respectively, including tracking high-risk cases and those in contact with patients.

The Government called on all people who entered the two areas mentioned above to declare their health condition and contact medical facilities for tests. The MPS will collaborate with the healthcare sector to make a list of people closely connected to Trường Sinh Company which caters Bạch Mai Hospital’s canteen and quarantine any as necessary. The company has 22 workers infected with SARS-CoV-2.

Provincial people’s committees are asked to work closely with ministries and authorities of Hà Nội and HCM City to perform these tasks, including imposing home quarantine, health declaration and tests to classify anyone for centralised isolation if necessary. This includes anyone who visited Bạch Mai Hospital from March 12.

MPS and provincial people’s committees were urged to inspect and update health conditions of people entering Việt Nam from March 8 who have not been quarantined, list people in contact with them to conduct suitable isolation measures.

State agencies are encouraged to let employees work from home, except for necessary shifts, military duties, the production of essential goods or classified jobs that require working at the office.

Public transportation will also be suspended. — VNS