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Vietnam to loosen social distancing, PM says

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HCMC – Vietnam will gradually relax social distancing measures given the improved Covid-19 situation but the nation still has to maintain control and remain vigilant against the pandemic, said Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

Currently, the social distancing policy must be observed seriously until further measures and relevant decisions, which are slated to be announced on April 22, Phuc said at a cabinet meeting in Hanoi organized by the National Steering Committee on Covid-19 Prevention and Control on April 20.

As the risk of transmission remains high, localities must have countermeasures at hand. People arriving in Vietnam must be quarantined, since the early detection of infections would facilitate the efforts against the pandemic and improve treatment quality, Phuc added.

The PM said the risk levels in localities would be downgraded at the meeting on April 22, with more cities and provinces expected to resume their normal activities.

“However, at this time, it is necessary to continue with countermeasures in line with the spirit of the PM’s conclusions made in the meeting on April 15,” he said.

The leader stressed the importance of such measures as wearing face masks in public places, washing hands regularly, avoiding mass gatherings and reducing unnecessary trips and outdoor activities. He assigned the Ministry of Education and Training to consider plans in the time ahead, especially the organization of graduation and university entrance exams.

Speaking at the conference, leaders of Hanoi and HCMC proposed that the government not extend the social distancing order set to end April 22 in both cities.

By April 22, if there are no new Covid-19 cases, the epidemic is basically controlled. Therefore, Directive 15 rather than Directive 16 should be implemented, said Hanoi’s Vice Chairman Ngo Van Quy.

Vietnam reports no new Covid-19 cases for fifth day

Vietnam has reported no new Covid-19 patients this morning, April 21. Therefore, the nation has been free of new Covid-19 cases for five days in a row, said the Ministry of Health.

Its infection tally remains at 268 since last Thursday, and 214 have been discharged from hospitals. The remaining active patients are being treated at nine establishments nationwide, of which seven have tested negative twice and 14 once.


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