Silence reigned over normally bustling Dong Kinh Nghia Thuc Square in the Old Quarter at the heart of the capital these days. Bars, karaoke parlors, gyms, and cafes are all closed until April 15. On nearby Dinh Tien Hoang Street in Hoan Kiem District, home to many street eateries and the famous Cafe Dinh, all stores and restaurants are closed. The sidewalk looks uncharacteristically bare without its usual crowd of iced-tea vendors, tourists, and passersby. All eateries, coffee shops and souvenir stores on Dinh Liet Street near the iconic Hoan Kiem Lake are also closed. The area around St. Joseph’s Cathedral, another hot spot in the Old Quarter, is shuttered, and the usually teeming streets are quiet. The Ministry of Health has advised seniors and those with underlying medical conditions to stay home and not go to public places or come into contact with others. Many of them are complying, only occasionally peeking out. An art gallery on Hang Dao Street is filled with colorful paintings but customers are keeping away. Ward administrative officials serve notices on businesses on Hang Bo Street to close. A coffee shop on Ta Hien Street has a ‘Takeaway only’ sign. A roast pork… Read full this story
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