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Majority of Vietnamese agree to extend social distancing to stop pandemic

Update: April, 14/2020 - 20:44


HCM City streets are empty during the social distancing period from April 1-15. VNA/VNS Photo Văn Minh

HCM CITY — Nearly 90 per cent of Vietnamese have agreed that the Government should continue its social distancing policy beyond April 15 to avoid the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a survey conducted by Infocus Mekong Research, a market research service provider.

According to the survey conducted on April 14 among 500 Vietnamese, only 5 per cent believed that the country should stop social distancing, while another 6 per cent were neutral.

The sentiment was the same across North, Central and South Việt Nam. 

When asked about their present employment status, 80 per cent had negatively been impacted by COVID-19 and the required social distancing, but still elected to maintain the policy.   

“With 35 per cent of people on reduced pay and work hours and another 45 per cent having either lost their livelihoods, or at least temporarily, it is a clear indication that Vietnamese people are placing health and family above the mighty đồng,” Ralf Matthaes, managing director of Infocus Mekong Research, said.

“It’s good to see that citizens still have their priorities in the right place. As they say, better safe than sorry,” Matthaes said. 

A number of localities across the country have proposed extending the social distancing measures beyond April 15, according to the National Steering Committee on the Prevention and Control of COVID-19.

HCM City authorities have also suggested extending the measures until the end of the month. Several localities have said social distancing should last until the end of May.

Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc recently urged the public to continue to strictly follow social distancing guidelines, which are scheduled to take effect until April 15.

Phúc has asked the national committee to propose further plans, and the Government will make the decision on the next steps on April 15.

Nguyễn Thanh Long, deputy minister of health, said the steering committee had collected opinions from its sub-committees on the imposition of social distancing.

The decision to extend social distancing will be made based on feedback collected from sectors and localities, according to Phúc. — VNS

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