HO CHI MINH CITY: Secretary Nguyen Thien Nhan Proposed Mandatory use of Face Masks in Public spaces

March 26, 2020 | Thao Tran

Source: Tuoi Tre News on March 27, 2020

English translation by Uyen Phuong Nguyen & Thao Tran

On the evening of March 26th, Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan requested the Chairman of the City People’s Committee issue directive making wearing face masks mandatory for all Ho Chi Minh City residents.

Speaking at the online conference between the City Party Committee and the People’s Committees of towns and districts, Secretary Nguyen Thien Nhan repeatedly stressed that the two essential interventions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 were the use of face masks and limit of travel.

Mr. Nhan believed the rapid spread of COVID-19 in Europe was due to the fact that Europeans did not have the habit of wearing face masks and countries in the region were late in limiting the travel. 

According to Mr. Nhan, in these countries, citizens had not acquired the habit of wearing face masks when going out. In fact, wearing face masks might even attract unwanted attention and discrimination. Only people who were severely ill wore face masks. The act of wearing face masks has never been frowned upon by Vietnamese culture; therefore, it would be easier to require residents wear face masks when going out. 

As a result, Mr. Nhan requested that the Chairman of the City People’s Committee issue the directive making face masks mandatory for all Ho Chi Minh City residents in public spaces, effectively tomorrow (March 27th). Failure to comply with this directive will result in a strict penalty. 

Mr. Nhan stressed: ‘Based on the current situation, the first solution to control the rapid spread of COVID-19 is to wear face masks. This is no longer just required. It is mandated.’

Secretary Nguyen Thien Nhan also requested the Department of Health release information on types of face masks that were effective against the disease and monitor the registered face mask retailers. Any establishment distributing face masks that are not up to the standards would be prosecuted. 

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