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Hanoi Announces Heavy Fines for Social Distancing Violations

Though identification of new Covid-19 cases has slowed in recent days, Hanoi authorities are taking steps to halt the threat of community spread by implementing a series of new penalties for those ignoring social distancing guidelines.

According to a report in The Saigon Times, under new regualtions released by Hanoi’s Department of Justice, fines are applied for a number of instances:

  • Traveling in public areas without a face mask (VND300,000).
  • Improperly disposing of used face masks or dropping them on the street (up to VND7 million). 
  • Failing to report Covid-19 symptoms for yourself or others (VND2 million).
  • Ignoring mandatory quarantine orders (VND10 million and possible criminal charges). 
  • Returning from disease-hit areas and failing to comply with quarantine or treatment protocols (up to VND20 million).
  • Organizations and individuals that ignore regulations forbidding large gatherings (VND20 million and VND10 million, respectively).
  • Eateries that fail to suspend operations (VND10–20 million).
  • Those who spread false information or horde medical supplies will also be charged under existing regulations. 

The capital is under particular strains as it is home to Bach Mai Hospital, one of Vietnam’s largest medical centers and Covid-19 clusters. The hospital stopped admitting new patients on March 28 after a number of employees from Truong Sinh Company, which provides food and logistics services to the hospital, tested positive for Covid-19. Sixty-one cases have been linked to the hospital at the time of publishing. 

Social distancing and other regulations imposed nationwide over the past few weeks seem to be making an impact on the spread of Covid-19 with only four new cases reported during the weekend.

There are, however, a number of examples of those not in compliance with such protocols contributing to the announcement of the above fines. 

As of this afternoon, Vietnam has reported 241 total cases of which 91 have made a full recovery. 

[Photo via Tin Moi]

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