Update: 20:02 | 02/02/2020
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has called on localities nationwide to suspend festivals and other big public events in an attempt to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus (nCoV).
Within a document issued on January 31, the Ministry directed local departments of information, culture, sports and tourism, to closely coordinate with the departments of health, sectors, and organisations to keep updated on the situation and to popularise the information and preventive measures to locals and visitors.
Visitors on double-decker city tour buses around Hanoi are being provided with free medical masks to protect themselves from coronavirus threat.
The Ministry also asked to cancel public events that may attract large crowds, such as festivals, if needed. Local People's Committees are advised to make considerations on whether or not to postpone or cancel festivals due to the current situation of the localities.
In response to the document, Tuyen Quang’s provincial authorities have announced the cancelling of big festivals in the locality, including Long Tong (Going to the Field) Festival in Chiem Hoa District, Dong Tien Festival in Ham Yen District.
The Phu Ninh Buffalo Fighting Festival, which is celebrated in Phu Tho Province on the eighth and ninth days of the first lunar month, will be suspended this year.
The provincial authorities also announced that they will stop receiving international tourists, particularly Chinese visitors, and are suspending outbound trips to regions hit by the epidemic as part of its efforts to prevent the spread of the deadly virus.
In the same move, the Vietnam Writers Association has decided to postpone the annual Poetry Day, which is normally held on the 15th day of the first lunar month, due to the spread of coronavirus. The organisers will announce the new date for the event when the threat posed by the new virus subsides.
Also, on December 31, the Standing Committee of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee hosted an online conference to with Front’s local chapters in 63 provinces and cities nationwide in order to popularise Prime Minister's Directive and the Secretariat’s Official Dispatch No.79/CV-TW, which calls on the intensification of measures against the acute respiratory illness caused by the new strain of coronavirus.
The Hanoi Transport and Services Corporation (Transerco) launched a programme on January 30 to provide visitors who join double-decker city tour buses around Hanoi with free medical masks and updated information on the thread of nCoV.