Vietnam’s Prime Minister has warned major cities to prepare for a lockdown as it seeks to control the spread of the coronavirus.
According to Ben Lee, managing partner of iGamiX Management and Consulting, the country’s casinos have been told they will need to close from April 1st. Lee is a consultant for various casino projects in Vietnam.
“Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have to review and update plans to battle the virus, and have to stand ready for city lockdown scenarios,” Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc was cited as saying by local media in a statement. “Vietnam has entered the pandemic’s peak period, major cities have to speed up and take advantage of each hour and minute to carry out defined measures,” Phuc said.
The country has stopped public gatherings and non-essential services until April 15th at the earliest. It has put a halt on inbound flights and restricted domestic movements.
Vietnam is following most countries in the region in closing down its gaming properties. Neighbouring Cambodia announced on Monday that the casinos would need to close, also from April 1st. Singapore’s two IRs remain open, but with severe restrictions on access, while properties in Macau are open, but its borders are effectively closed, meaning traffic is minimal.
Singapore police have busted at least two illegal gambling operations in the past week, while across Asia authorities have moved to stamp out illicit activities, from raids on premier league matches in India, to illegal number forecasting in Malaysia.