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Vietnam: PM tells major cities to stand ready for lockdowns amid coronavirus outbreak

A worker disinfects a street in Hanoi on March 29, 2020.
A worker disinfects a street in Hanoi on March 29, 2020.PHOTO: REUTERS

HANOI • Vietnam's Prime Minister yesterday asked major cities to prepare for possible lockdowns to stop the spread of the coronavirus as the number of confirmed cases in the country reached nearly 200.

"Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have to review and update plans to battle the virus, and have to stand ready for city lockdown scenarios," Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said in a statement.

Inter-city transport entering or leaving the two major cities were suspended for two weeks from yesterday, reported local daily Vietnam News. This included passenger trains, coaches and tourist buses.

The Vietnamese government has ordered a halt on inbound flights, cut domestic flights, stopped public gatherings and temporarily shut down non-essential services until April 15 at the earliest.

Vietnam has confirmed 194 infections but has had no reported deaths, according to the Health Ministry. More than 75,000 people are in quarantine.

REUTERS, XINHUA

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 31, 2020, with the headline 'Vietnam: PM tells major cities to stand ready for lockdowns'. Print Edition | Subscribe