Wednesday , May 31 2023

Hanoi mandates masks in crowded places as Covid returns

The fresh Covid-19 outbreak in Hanoi means people using public transport and working at supermarkets, cinemas and bars must wear masks, authorities have mandated.

In an order Tuesday night, the city People’s Committee said everyone aboard public transport vehicles, including passengers, drivers and other staff, must be masked.

So should people directly coming in contact with customers at supermarkets, wholesale markets and shopping malls, it said.

Service staff, managers and workers in enclosed spaces such as bars, discos, karaoke and massage parlors, beauty salons, gyms, restaurants, cinemas, theaters, circuses, and gymnasiums are required to wear masks at all times.

Masks are also mandatory for service staff, managers and attendees at cultural and tourist facilities and other places where crowded events are held.

The administration instructed related agencies to remain vigilant and keep watch on the epidemic situation to make timely and proactive plans, including for vaccination, strengthen oversight of safety measures at businesses and other establishments, schools, borders, and healthcare facilities.

Hanoi has recorded the highest number of cases in the country in the last five days at 96 a day on average. A total of 566 people have been hospitalized, with 29 requiring oxygen support.

Nguyen Thanh Ha, deputy director of the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases, said his facility is treating 146 patients, mostly seniors and others with underlying conditions, including 21 severe cases.

The hospital is the foremost facility for Covid treatment in the north.

It admitted 20 patients in January and February and 45 in March.

The numbers rose to 47 in the first week of April and 85 in the second.

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