|Additional 16 southern provinces and cities to apply social distancing under Directive 16. Photo: Vietnamnet|
At present, three localities of HCM City, Bình Dương and Đồng Nai have been applying Directive 16. HCM City has been under Directive 16 since July 8 while Đồng Nai and Bình Dương have had the measures in place since July 9.
An additional 16 southern provinces and cities will apply social distancing under Directive 16 from midnight on July 19. The strict measures to stamp out worsening outbreaks of COVID-19 will be in place for 14 days.
The provinces and cities are Cần Thơ City, Bình Phước, Tây Ninh, Bà Rịa - Vũng Tàu, Tiền Giang, Long An, Vĩnh Long, Đồng Tháp, Bến Tre, Hậu Giang, An Giang, Bạc Liêu, Sóc Trăng, Trà Vinh, Cà Mau and Kiên Giang.
The move came after Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính signed document No 969/TTg-KGVX on Saturday to strengthen the protection of public health amid the continuing developments of the COVID-19 pandemic, Vietnamnews reports.
According to the document issued on the day, the 14-day social distancing period will be decided by Chairpersons of provincial People’s Committees but it must begin before July 19.
For cities and provinces which are applying social distancing prior to the Prime Minister’s, today document will report its coronavirus situation to decide whether the cities or provinces will continue the social distancing or not.
During social distancing, the PM proposed strict implementation of Directive 16 noting that each organization and leader will be held accountable for incidents. Gatherings of people must be banned according to the regulation.
Simultaneously, local governments must make sure the supply of food and foodstuff to all residents, especially the poor and unemployed people who lost their job due to the coronavirus pandemic. Mr. Chinh directed only business establishments that meet the requirements of Covid-19 prevention regulations are allowed to operate. Related agencies must take heed of traffic congestion.
Chairmen in cities and provinces must send a report to the Prime Minister about the coronavirus development to have appropriate solutions for each place. Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam was assigned to direct ministries, sectors, and localities to apply the directive as well as solving problems relating to the coronavirus pandemic on behalf of the Prime Minister, SGGPNews reports.
The southern region, particularly HCMC, is taking the brunt in the worst coronavirus wave to ever hit Vietnam. Cases have been rising steadily over the past few days, with HCMC recording numbers in the thousands. Not every Covid-19 cases have been contact traced successfully.
The social distancing period will be imposed under Directive 16 with the most stringent social distancing regulations, requiring people to stay at home and only go out for basic necessities such as buying food or medicines or to work at factories or businesses that are allowed to open.
People must keep a distance of at least two meters. No more than two people can gather at public places apart from workplaces, schools or hospitals. The majority of public transportation will be shut down and there will be no travel to other localities, according to VnExpress.
Chính said the exact time to start applying social distancing to 16 provinces and cities was decided by the Chairman of the provincial People's Committee, but must be no later than midnight on July 19.
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