Nationwide social distancing measures in Vietnam, including in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh, will be eased from Thursday, April 23, following no new reported coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in a week. The measures, which were introduced on Wednesday, April 1, were due to expire on Wednesday, April 22. Full social distancing measures will remain only in Thuong Tin and Me Linh districts in Hanoi, which are deemed as "high-risk" localities, until Thursday, April 30. Several nonessential services will be allowed to resume as long as proper hygiene practices are observed. Secondary schools in Hanoi are slated to reopen on Monday, May 4, while primary schools and kindergartens will resume on Monday, May 11. Religious gatherings, celebrations, as well as sporting and cultural activities will remain prohibited. Additionally, bars, karaoke lounges, and massage parlours will continue to be closed. Transport business have been allowed to resume 20 to 30 percent of their operations. Bac Ninh and Ha Giang province, which are classified as "at-risk" regions, will remain in lockdown. Vietnam's remaining 59 provinces and cities have been categorized as "low-risk" areas. Authorities have still advised the public to refrain from going out and to avoid crowds. Separately, Vietnamese Airlines will resume all domestic flights from Thursday, April 23.
The Vietnamese government has suspended entry to all foreign nationals who were previously granted travel visas. Travelers who were granted visas for diplomatic or official purposes are exempt from the restriction. Individuals who are deemed experts, business managers, or highly skilled workers will still be allowed to enter the country but must have a medical certificate showing they tested negative for the virus and will be quarantined upon arrival.A suspension on issuing new visas remains in place. All international flights to Vietnam have also been suspended.
As of April 22, 268 cases of COVID-19 and no associated deaths have been confirmed in Vietnam. Further international spread of the virus is expected over the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the general risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
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