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BackStories » Roundups » The Week in Focus: A Rise in Covid-19 Cases, International Travel Restrictions and Wildlife Trade Ban

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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.

More Covid-19 Cases

On Wednesday, ten new Covid-19 infections were announced by the Ministry of Health, bringing the national total to 76. Five were in Hanoi, while one each was detected in Hai Duong, Ninh Thuan, Da Nang, Phu Tho and Saigon.

Four of the individuals in question were foreigners, while all ten cases are linked to international travel. Vietnam has recorded 60 new Covid-19 cases since March 6, prior to which the country had gone over three weeks without any new infections.

More Travel Restrictions

Vietnam has responded to this surge in a number of ways, perhaps most visibly by suspending the issuance of all visas to all nationalities. Meanwhile, anyone entering the country from China, South Korea, Iran, ASEAN nations, the United States, the United Kingdom or the European Union will face mandatory quarantine for 14 days.

In response to this expected quarantine surge, the military is expanding its quarantine capacity to 60,000 people.

Numerous popular destinations, including Con Dao, Ha Long Bay, Cat Ba, Phu Quoc and Sapa have closed their doors to visitors, while Vietnam Airlines will suspend all of its international flights by March 25. The suspension will last until the end of April.

Wildlife Trade Ban in the Works

In a rare bit of good news, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has ordered the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to draft regulations aimed at halting the trade and consumption of wildlife by April 1.

This comes in response to a letter signed by 14 international and domestic wildlife conservation organizations and sent to the prime minister in February asking him to confront the wildlife trade given its links to the beginning of the Covid-19 epidemic in China.

[Top photo via the delicious digital arena of internet memes]

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