|Lines are drawn on Yên Thái Street in Hàng Gai Ward, Hà Nội so that people keep distance from each other at the market during social distancing. — VNA/VNS Photo Minh Quyết
HÀ NỘI — Social distancing measures will be extended for 12 localities at high risk of COVID-19 infections, including Hà Nội, HCM City and Đà Nẵng, according to a new decision made by Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc.
Along with three big cities, other localities classified as at high risk are Lào Cai, Quảng Ninh, Bắc Ninh, Ninh Bình (Trường Yên), Quảng Nam, Bình Thuận, Khánh Hòa, Tây Ninh and Hà Tĩnh.
The social distancing period will last until April 22 or 30, or even longer depending on specific conditions.
The National Steering Committee on COVID-19 Prevention and Control classified the 63 localities into three groups – high, medium and low risk.
Fifteen localities at medium risk are Bình Dương, Cần Thơ, Đồng Nai, Hà Nam, Hải Phòng, Kiên Giang, Nam Định, Nghệ An, Thái Nguyên, Thừa Thiên-Huế, Sóc Trăng, Lạng Sơn, An Giang, Bình Phước and Đồng Tháp.
Other provinces are in the low risk group.
Authorities of localities at medium and low risk are given authority to make decisions on sectors that can resume operation if they take preventive measures.
People in these localities must continue to refrain from going out, wear face masks, wash hands, keep distance of at least 2m from each other. Large gatherings, religious ceremonies, rituals and entertainment activities are banned. Tourism sites must be closed.
PM Phúc said low-risk localities are still exposed to infection, ordering them to follow directive 15, which includes bans of gatherings of 20 or more people in a room and 10 or more people outside of offices, schools and hospitals.
PM Phúc also ordered all localities to continue to suspend unnecessary activities. Local authorities must prepare plans to recover the economy after the pandemic.
PM Phúc agreed to continue to limit immigration from overseas.
He urged the National Steering Committee on COVID-19 Prevention and Control to consider specific conditions to gradually lift social distancing to hit two targets: control the pandemic and develop the socio-economy. The list of localities in three groups can be changed depending on their situations.
The risk classification is based on density of traffic, population, factories, industrial parks, having borders or not, the number of people going through borders or places where foreigners used to stay, and pandemic response capacity of local authorities
Following the extended social distancing, HCM City ordered the suspension of coaches, taxis, buses until April 22.
The Fatherland Front on Wednesday announced that nearly VNĐ1.6 trillion (US$69.6 million) has been raised by agencies, organisations, businesses and individuals at home and abroad to support COVID-19 efforts. — VNS