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HCMC should not begin social distancing now: PM

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HCMC – At an online meeting between the Government and localities on August 2, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc lauded HCMC’s decision to suspend some non-essential business activities, but observed that it is unnecessary to impose the social distancing rule in the city now.

Chairing the meeting, PM Phuc noted that localities should drastically lock down Covid-19-hit areas and places and adopt social distancing measures to effectively ward off the coronavirus while boosting economic growth, VnExpress news site reported.

However, the prime minister stated that it is necessary to consider where and how social distancing measures are applied rather than issuing the social distancing order in all localities across the country.

Phuc said he had told the HCMC chairman on the phone on August 1 that suspending karaoke services was the right decision but there was no need yet to apply the social distancing rule in the city.

Other localities should not issue the social distancing order if they have yet to map out detailed plans, especially when no Covid-19 outbreak emerges in the localities, so that businesses are not plunged into stagnancy, PM Phuc said.

The prime minister also told some localities, which have yet to adopt social distancing in line with Directive 16, to ensure production and that business activities run smoothly to push up the country’s economy.

It is necessary to carefully consider all steps before imposing the social distancing rule, he noted, adding that localities should not exaggerate the situation.

Apart from this, the prime minister said the second Covid-19 wave is expected to quickly spread to many localities if it is not contained effectively. As such, every resident will act as a soldier while every house, village, hamlet and town will be a stronghold for the fight against the virus.

The Government leader asked residents to continue wearing face masks, washing hands with sanitizer, not gathering in crowds and not going out for non-essential purposes, Phap Luat Online reported.

He also tasked the ministries of National Defense and Public Security and the provincial and municipal governments with tightening control over immigration to prevent illegal entry.

In response to Danang Chairman Huynh Duc Tho’s report saying that over 400 tourists, mainly from Hanoi and HCMC, are still stranded in the city, the prime minister agreed to support the city with vehicles to transport them home.

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