Across Vietnam, 18 localities including Ho Chi Minh City has asked the Prime Minister to prolong the country’s social distancing order until the end of April, while two other localities have proposed an additional one-week extension, to April 22.
Speaking at an online meeting Monday afternoon, Chairman of Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong stressed that the disease still represents a danger to the community when there are undetected infection cases that don’t show symptoms.
Nguyen said that: “To strictly control the pandemic situation, Ho Chi Minh City has proposed to extend the social distancing orders according to Prime Minister's Directive 16 until April 30.”
Vietnam began a 14-day nationwide stay-at-home order on April 1, that included directives on social distancing, and required all non-essential businesses to halt operations. Exceptions were made for factories and production units, traffic and construction sites, and organizations supplying essential goods and services, including food, medicine, oil and gas, utility, energy, etc.
Other businesses that are considered essential have also been allowed to operate during the 16 day shutdown, including banks, funeral services, healthcare services, legal services, logistics companies, post offices, stock trading floors, and treasury services as well as other businesses that are directly related to banking and financial activities.
During the 14-day shutdown, Vietnamese people have been asked to practice social distancing, stay home and refrain from going outside, unless in case of necessities: buying food, medicine and seeking essential goods and services.
Additional social distancing measure have included everyone wearing facemasks in public places, and gatherings of more than two people in public have been disallowed and people are asked to maintain 2 meters of separation with other people and to frequently wash their hands.
According to the initial plan, on Monday, the government would decide whether to extend the social distancing order or not when it expires, and a decision is expected to be made on Wednesday.