Ho Chi Minh City again orders bars and spas to shut over Covid-19 fears

Ho Chi Minh City has seen Covid-19 cases rise 66 per cent on Nov 18 from a month ago to 1,609. PHOTO: AFP

HANOI (BLOOMBERG) - Vietnam's commercial hub of Ho Chi Minh City has ordered bars, spas and karaoke clubs to shut two days after allowing them to reopen, in an attempt to stem another coronavirus surge as cases climbed anew.

The city government reversed course because the Covid-19 outbreak "is still complicated with hidden risks", according to a statement on the city's website on Thursday (Nov 18). Restrictions on the establishments were lifted on Nov 16.

The return of some curbs in Ho Chi Minh City comes as the government pushes to reopen factories across the country and bring back more than a million workers who have returned to their home provinces in the past months to escape the country's worst coronavirus surge since the pandemic started.

Ho Chi Minh City, whose industrial parks are home to factories that produce shoes for the likes of Nike and Adidas and components for Intel and Samsung, has seen Covid-19 cases rise 66 per cent on Thursday from a month ago to 1,609.

Infections in the city dropped below 1,000 earlier around mid-October but have climbed back past that number from Nov 7.

The city's health authorities this week proposed reopening centralised quarantine facilities in districts for patients unqualified to self-isolate at home, news website VnExpress reported on Tuesday.

Amid the rising cases, a proposal to reopen Ho Chi Minh City to international tourists was submitted to the central government, the media centre said, confirming a report by newspaper Nguoi Lao Dong.

Allowing foreign tourists from package tours starting next month and fully reopen from April 2022 without requiring quarantine if overseas visitors have been fully inoculated at least 14 days before travel or have recovered from Covid-19 within six months had been proposed, the newspaper reported.

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