From 0:00 of February 16, Hai Duong is the first province in the country to be blocked since the blockade of Danang in August 2020. Hanoi is also applying strict measures such as closing schools and restaurants until February 28.
An anonymous employee at a restaurant in Ba Dinh district, Hanoi on the afternoon of February 16 told RFA about the closure news as stated:
“We don’t know yet, according to city designation. I still maintain my business. The number of visitors decreased by 70-80%. I also reduce my staff from 300 to dozens now. My restaurant still opens but we have a few visitors.”
In the near future, Ho Chi Minh City may also apply similar measures as at the February 15 meeting, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc agreed that the two biggest cities of the country could impose “social distance” (blockade in fact) in some highly contagious areas.
PM Phuc also requested a vaccine in February to vaccinate the anti-pandemic forces and was promised about 5 million doses this month.
The head of the Government also assigned the Ministry of Health to study and propose new anti-epidemic approaches to the new situation, to be ready for major quarantine when bad situations occur.
The state-controlled media has posted numerous international articles praising Vietnam as a low-cost but effective anti-epidemic model, but it seems that in this third outbreak, that miracle has not re-occurred?
Two cases of COVID-19 infection were detected in the third wave as a worker from Hai Duong went to work in Japan on January 17 and the Japanese authorities found him positive. From this case, Vietnam traced back.
According to the Japanese procedure, this worker had to provide the PCR test result negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours before departure from Vietnam, which means infection already existed in Vietnam and has not been detected for a long time, and is there an error in Vietnamese testing?
From January 28 to now, there have been nearly 700 cases of infection in the community being recorded.
Vietnam is the only country of the three Indochina countries to date that has not received any vaccinations, Laos and Cambodia started their vaccination campaign on February 7 and 8 with hundreds of thousands of doses of vaccine from China.
The 5K campaign: “The Four Pillars” does not act as an example, although the Health Ministry promotes
Vietnam’s Ministry of Health has recently promoted the easy-to-remember and understandable 5K message campaign to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks, including Masks, Disinfectants, No Gathering, Distance, and Medical Declarations.
However, the 3 people currently holding the 4 highest leadership positions in Vietnam (often called the four pillars) have not followed the instruction of this message when visiting some places during the Lunar New Year festival or Tet.
Specifically, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam and State President Nguyen Phu Trong on New Year’s Eve (February 11) visited the people on the walking street of Hoan Kiem Lake as well as burned incense for King Ly Thai To.
Pictures and videos show dozens of people around him not wearing masks, not keeping a safe distance … violating at least three of the 5 requirements.
In addition, there is also a photo of the VNA showing Trong holding a baby to his lap while Hanoi Party Secretary Vuong Dinh Hue used his hand to support the baby for Mr. Trong.
Particularly Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, on February 9, when visiting the Ministry of Health, called for and expressed his wish for the entire political system, people throughout the country to continue joining hands, unanimously and accompanying in the war combating COVID-19 nationwide, firstly implementing the “5K Message” launched by the health sector.
On the first day of New Year’s Eve (February 12), Mr. Phuc visited and congratulated the armed forces of Danang city and Hai Chau district party committee, however, Mr. Phuc shook hands, did not wear a mask and they stood closely each other to take pictures.
On the afternoon of February 11, National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan also paid a visit to and wished Tet for officers and soldiers of the Border Guard Command of Ben Tre province – her hometown.
Photos and videos of Dong Khoi newspaper show that, whether meeting in the hall or taking pictures in the yard, she did not wear a mask nor keep her distance.
Mr. Do Nam Trung on the evening of the New Year of Tan Suu, speaking to RFA, about leaders not wearing masks when interacting with people when the COVID-19 epidemic was strongly spread at this time in Vietnam:
“I saw pictures of Mr. Trong and Mr. Phuc wearing no masks. These images are really an eyesore and difficult to accept. Party and State leaders say that people have to wear masks, to keep themselves and others safe. But the images are too fruitful, that is, their words and acts are completely opposite to each other. When he congratulates the elders on New Year’s Eve, I saw Mr. Trong and a group of leaders from Hanoi standing around without any man wearing it. That makes people like me see them as unreliable people because their words and acts conflict with each other. They are untrusted people when they speak.”