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This Week in Focus: New Cases Slow and Social Distancing Fines

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Each week, we digest the most important stories from the capital, the rest of Vietnam and beyond, and summarize them in short paragraphs so you can easily keep up with current affairs.

New Cases Slow

No new COVID-19 cases have been announced this morning, leaving the national total at 255, with 128 recoveries. A further 14 patients will be discharged today, while 18 more have tested negative twice and another 17 individuals have tested negative once.

Four cases were announced last night, including two linked to Case 243, a Hanoi resident who went to Bach Mai Hospital for treatment several weeks ago but only tested positive for the coronavirus last weekend.

In response to this, 19 police officers from Dong Ngac Ward in Bac Tu Liem District have been isolated, while the man's home village in Me Linh District, north of the Red River, has been sealed off for 14 days. Over 10,000 people live in the area.

The government has also warned that Vietnam is now in the third phase of the COVID-19 outbreak, which includes community transmission from unknown sources.

According to the Ministry of Health, 114,241 COVID-19 tests have been conducted, while 74,941 people are in quarantine nationwide.

Hanoi Details Social Distancing Fines

With the national social distancing campaign set to last until April 15, municipal officials have outlined a number of fines for violating public health guidelines.

For example, you can be fined VND300,000 for not wearing a mask in public, or up to VND10 million for ignoring mandatory quarantine orders.

Eateries that fail to suspend operations can be fined up to VND20 million, while organizations which hold a large gathering can also be fined that amount.

40,000 School Staff Facing Financial Crunch

While the news related to the number of new cases is tentatively good, the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic is massive. In Hanoi alone, roughly 40,000 non-public school employees have had to take a pay cut, or have not been paid at all.

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