People gather at the opening ceremony of Sam Son beach tourism festival in Thanh Hoa Province, April 24, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Le Hoang.
Many localities across Vietnam have canceled fireworks and festivals following Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh’s order to limit crowded events amid intensified Covid-19 outbreaks in neighboring countries.
Quang Ninh, home to UNESCO heritage site Ha Long Bay, on Monday announced the cancelation of all fireworks displays planned for April 30 to celebrate National Reunification Day and would instead use the money to buy medical equipment geared toward fighting Covid-19.
Provincial authorities also decided to cancel all cultural, sports and religious festivals from April 30 until May 23. Earlier, the northern province planned to host a range of events to boost its tourism revenue after many months of Covid-19 impacts.
Nghe An and Quang Tri provinces in central Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh City also decided to cancel fireworks shows on the night of April 30, while Hanoi and Da Nang stated they would not host pyrotechnic celebrations.
Hanoi authorities Tuesday ordered to suspend festivals and pedestrian zones in the city to prevent large crowds.
PM Pham Minh Chinh in a Monday meeting ordered people’s committee chairmen to ensure local residents wear face masks in crowded areas. “The chairmen will be accountable for any community transmissions within their localities. Crowded events should be limited.”
Tran Dac Phu, senior advisor at the Public Health Emergency Operations Center under Vietnam’s Ministry of Health, said Vietnam has to learn the lessons from India and other countries in the region like Cambodia and Thailand to avoid neglecting vital health protection measures like wearing masks in public and call off crowded events.
Several Southeast Asian countries including Cambodia, Laos and Thailand have been struggling with a significant surge in community transmissions linked to new variants while India is being shaken by a coronavirus storm.
Last weekend, thousands of people flocked to Sam Son beach town in Thanh Hoa Province, central Vietnam to attend the opening ceremony of a tourism festival, with many failing to wear face masks amid large crowds. The images in the media raised big concerns over Covid-19 risks.
Vietnam has gone over one month without Covid-19 community transmissions.
Fireworks displays to mark major national celebrations like the Lunar New Year holiday or Tet, Reunification Day on April 30 and Independence Day on September 2 are a long-standing tradition in Vietnam.
This weekend, Vietnamese will enjoy a four-day break starting Friday to celebrate Reunification Day and Labor Day (May 1).