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May 29, 2021 / 11:24

Hanoi halts public religious services over Covid-19

Religious dignitaries are required not to invite foreigners to Vietnam for missionary work amid the complicated fresh coronavirus outbreak.

Hanoi has suspended all communal gatherings for religious ceremonies from May 29 in an effort to curb the spread of Covid-19 that causes nearly 300 infections in the city for a month.

 The notice reminds people to take measures to prevent the outbreak of Covid-19 at Quan Su Pagoda in Hanoi. Photo: Lai Tan

Religious dignitaries and followers are required to follow countermeasures against the pandemic, joining the city’s fight against Covid-19, and shifting religious services from face-to-face to virtual. The suspension will last until further notice, according to a document signed by Deputy Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee Le Hong Son.

They are advised against inviting foreigners to Vietnam for missionary work, mostly those from or go through pandemic-hit areas, or going abroad for religious rituals until further notice.

Heads of religious establishments would be liable if disease transmission happened for flouting such advisories.

Hanoi is home to dozens of religious establishments where attract a large number of visitors. Some famous religious institutions are St. Joseph’s Cathedral Hanoi built in the late 19th century, Tran Quoc Pagoda, Tay Ho Palace, Quan Thanh Temple, Quan Su Pagoda, and Ngoc Son Temple.

In a related move, Ho Chi Minh City on May 27 detected coronavirus infection among members of the Renaissance Missionary Church with a location in Go Vap district. The chain of infection has spawned around 40 Covid-19 cases in the city and surrounding areas. The transmission has prompted massive testing on 50,000 local residents in the district.