Hanoi: West Lake Temple closed after crowds flock to worship

Hanoi authorities have closed the Tay Ho (West Lake) Temple for virus prevention after hundreds of people were seen visiting the place on the first day of the seventh lunar month.

Ngàn người chen chân không giãn cách, phủ Tây Hồ tạm đóng cửa

The West Lake Temple on the first day of the seventh lunar month.

To mark the first day of the seventh lunar month, crowds of people went to West Lake Temple to pray for luck and prosperity.

Although the temple’s management took social distancing measures and asked visitors to sanitise their hands, an estimated 4,000 people still gathered at the gates.

During a meeting with the Hanoi Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control on August 19, Hanoi's Vice Chairman Ngo Van Quy asked the authorities in Tay Ho District explained the large number of people at the West Lake Temple.

Do Anh Tuan, chairman of Tay Ho District People's Committee, said they had sent employees to inspect all religious premises, especially West Lake Temple, and asked them to strictly follow all preventive measures including allowing no more than 30 visitors in the same yard.

Tuan said everything was still under control in the morning of August 19. However, more people came in the afternoon and the prevention work was affected.

West Lake Temple Management Board said they had announced that visitors must follow prevention rules but many people still didn't wear face masks or maintain a safe distance from each other. Many people also didn't wash hands before entering.

Tran Thi Van Anh, deputy director of the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism said they had worked with the authorities in Quang An and Tay Ho to raise public awareness about prevention measures when they visit West Lake Temple but the number of visitors was high because lunar July is when Vu Lan and the Amnesty of Unquiet Spirits Festival is held.

 

Since August 19, stricter social distancing measures have been put in place in public areas in the capital city.

Food and beverage establishment in the capital must arrange seats at least one metre apart and partitions are encouraged.

Staff at restaurants and cafes must wear masks and measure customers’ temperatures. Hand sanitiser must be available while frequently-contacted objects should be cleaned regularly.

Local authorities advised citizens not to go out unless it is really necessary, not to gather in big crowds outdoors and wear face masks when staying outside.

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