The cities and provinces which received the harsh criticism include Da Nang, Ba Ria – Vung Tau, Khanh Hoa, Vinh Long, Dong Thap, Tien Giang, Ha Nam, and Yen Bai.
PM Pham Minh Chinh gets tough on violations of COVID-19 rules. (Photo: VGP)
In a recent telegram signed by the PM on May 2, Da Nang, Ba Ria – Vung Tau, and Khanh Hoa, which are home to tourist resorts, were criticised for not strictly abiding by the COVID-19 recommendations set out by the Ministry of Health, including wearing face masks and keeping a safe distance in public places. The past few days has witnessed tourist resorts and beaches in these localities become extremely crowded as travelers descend on them for the public holidays, with many visitors ignoring warnings regarding wearing face masks. Furthermore, Vinh Long, Dong Thap, and Tien Giang provinces were all rebuked for failing to upgrade prevention equipment and not increasing testing capacity in line with the recommendation put forward by the Ministry of Health. Ha Nam and Yen Bai were also asked to clarify the accountability of various individuals and organisations which caused the virus to spread in their respective localities. Most notably, clusters of new infections occurring in Ha Nam and Yen Bai over the past few days have raised public concerns regarding the management of people in their residences after completing a 14-day isolation period at concentrated quarantine facilities. In his telegram, PM Chinh also commended Vinh Phuc, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Quang Ninh, Hai Phong, and Lam Dong for their swift responses and drastic measures adopted in an effort to halt the spread of the virus. According to the PM, it is likely that complacency will lead to severe consequences in terms of both socio-economic development opportunities and the lives of local citizens, along with the erosion of people’s trust in the leadership’s measures against COVID-19. He therefore requested that all 63 cities and provinces nationwide, along with ministries, agencies, and people, remain highly vigilant and strictly follow the Ministry of Health’s 5K message in Vietnamese, namely Khau trang (facemask), Khu khuan (disinfection), Khoang cach (distance), Khong tu tap (no gathering), and Khai bao y te (health declaration). Moreover, the five ministries of health, foreign affairs, national defence, public security, and transport were requested to strictly control the influx of Vietnamese nationals returning home via air, sea, and land borders, along with foreign experts entering the country for work purposes. More than 10 community infections have been confirmed in Ha Nam, Hanoi, Hung Yen, and Ho Chi Minh City after coming into close contact with a local man from Ha Nam province who had been diagnosed with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The man, who had recently returned from Japan, completed a 14-day quarantine period and had tested negative three times. However, he violated the Ministry of Health’s 14-day self-isolation rules at home by travelling, meeting, and joining friends at a party. Similarly, a group of Chinese experts travelled to a number of Vietnamese localities nationwide after completing their 14-day quarantine period in Yen Bai province. Indeed, one of them was infected with the virus upon his return to China. At least six Vietnamese infections, including five detected in Vinh Phuc, have been Experts Experts are becoming increasingly concerned that further infections will be detected over the coming days.