Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has agreed with a proposal of the Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control to extend social distancing for at least one week in high-risk and risky localities.
Under the proposal, localities are divided into three groups: high-risk, risky, and low-risk and such division will be reviewed and updated regularly.
High-risk localities consist of 12 provinces and cities namely Ha Noi, Lao Cai, Quang Ninh, Bac Ninh, Ninh Binh, Da Nang, Quang Nam, Binh Thuan, Khanh Hoa, Ho Chi Minh City and Tay Ninh, and Ha Tinh.
For the above localities, social distancing shall continue until April 22 or April 30 depending on specific situation and may be further extended, the Government chief stressed.
Although they are high-risk localities, the Government chief urged the local authorities to pay attention to production, infrastructure development and facilitate trade and transport movement.
Social distancing shall also be extended to April 22 for 15 localities in the second group, namely Binh Duong, Can Tho, Dong Nai, Ha Nam, Hai Phong, Kien Giang, Nam Dinh, Nghe An, Thai Nguyen, Thua Thien-Hue, Soc Trang, Lang Son, An Giang, Binh Phuoc, and Dong Thap.
Further extension of social distancing in those localities shall be decided on April 22.
PM Phuc tasked local authorities to issue specific instructions for implementation of social distancing and their specific measures in their own administrative boundaries in a proper and serious manner.
The latest move was made amid widening COVID-19 pandemic across the world while new infection cases in Viet Nam have continued rising with 30 new patients confirmed over the past 15 days, said Phuc.
He reaffirmed that "we are not allowed to losen [countermeasures] or be subjective" because protection of public health is the top goal.
In the meanwhile, we also need to gradually get things back to normal, thus the Government will issue a new directive with concreate measures, according to PM Phuc.
He asked for immediate implementation of the social security package of up to VND62 trillion (roughly US$2.66 billion) to support people directly affected by the COVID-19 epidemic as many people are in serious need.