Municipal authorities of Hanoi have announced that certain public transport and social distancing restrictions that had been imposed due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have been eased on Monday, May 11. Commercial, production, and service businesses were given permission to resume operations. Shopping centers, supermarkets, and shops will be allowed to open from 09:00 (local time), while food and vegetable markets, petrol stations, and restaurants will be allowed to open earlier. Sports activities are also now authorized. However, karaoke venues and bars must remain shut and the sale of goods in the streets remains forbidden. The government has provided establishments that are allowed to reopen with health and hygiene guidelines which must be adhered to. Restrictions on trains, buses, boats, and planes have also been eased. All passengers arriving into Vietnam will be under a 14-day mandatory quarantine in government facilities, except for experts, skilled workers, and investors, who will be quarantined under the responsibility of local health workers and their sponsors.
On Wednesday, April 29, domestic flights resumed on several routes amid the easing of lockdown measures nationwide. Vietnam Airlines has increased the frequency of flights between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to eight flights per day while routes between Da Nang and Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have been increased to three flights per day each. Between Friday, May 1, and Friday, May 15, airlines will continue to add domestic flights, with the Hanoi-Ho Chi Minh City route rising to as many as 14 flights per day and the Da Nang-Ho Chi Ming City and Da Nang-Hanoi routes rising to four daily. Flights between other domestic locations are operating flexibly based on demand and government guidelines, generally operating between three and 21 flights per week.
Passenger transportation by bus, taxi, and contract cars have resumed, and subsidized inter-city buses are operating as of Monday, May 4.
Secondary schools in Hanoi reopened on Monday, May 4, while primary schools and kindergartens reopened on Monday, May 11. Authorities have still advised the public to refrain from going out and to avoid crowds.
As of Tuesday, May 12, authorities have confirmed 288 cases of COVID-19 in the country and no associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is to be 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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