Mar 31, 2020 / 11:22

Vietnam to declare national coronavirus epidemic, stops public transport

The Hanoitimes - Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc asked citizens to stay home and limit travel.

Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on March 30 agreed to the Ministry of Health’s proposal on declaring Covid-19 a national epidemic given the fast and wide spread of the coronavirus in the country.

 Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc. Photo: VGP

Accordingly, the PM required local authorities to suspend public transportation and limit private vehicles.

He asked people nationwide to stay at home, practice social distancing of at least two meters, and notably, to not to travel to other places in the context that people in big cities have been moving to the countryside for shelter against the pandemic.

State agencies and businesses are required to allow employees to work from home except for special units and manufacturing facilities.

The PM said this is a decisive time for the fight against the epidemic that requires all forces to participate in.

Further action

At the meeting, Phuc asked Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung to take charge of the supply of medical equipment, especially ventilators.

Meanwhile, he asked related ministries to ensure sufficient supply of essential goods and food without price hikes.

The PM said that the government will have a gathering on April 1 to discuss support to very low-income earners who face difficulties due to anti-pandemic measures.

He also agreed with the National Steering Committee on Covid-19 Prevention and Control to ask insurance companies to stop launching coronavirus-related insurance packages.

Earlier, at the PM’s order, Vietnam has closed non-essential services from March 28 until April 15.

In early February, Vietnam declared the national epidemic after the country found six infected cases, including one under human-to-human transmission.

According to media reports on March 8, the Hanoi city government asked for the Ministry of Health for a green light to declare Covid-19 an epidemic in the city after four coronavirus cases were confirmed, but no information has been announced.

As of March 30, Vietnam confirmed 203 people infected with SARS-CoV-2, including 55 cured. No death has been reported.