Theaters ask the H1N1 mask question

August 11, 2009

LookAtVietnam – Over 1000 Vietnamese have been infected with A/H1N1, but managers of crowded theaters in Hanoi and HCM City don’t know how to protect their staff and patrons. 

LookAtVietnam – More than one thousand Vietnamese have been infected with influenza A (H1N1), but the managers of crowded theaters in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, don’t know what to do to protect their staff and patrons. 

Puppet shows at Hanoi’s Central Puppetry Theater, like Hon que (Soul of the fatherland) and Cau Ech (Mr. Frog) attract crowds including foreigners. The theater Director Vuong Duy Bien said, “Some foreigners wear medical masks when they come to our theater because of the flu pandemic.

I have told all the theater staff to wear masks, but many of them don’t, including the puppetry artists.”

Vice Director of the city’s Youth Theater Truong Nhuan also said the flu has made a large impact on ticket sales.

“Foreign audience won’t come to crowded places like theaters if a lot of people in the audience don’t wear masks to prevent the virus from spreading,” he said.

HCMC: Depends on the person

Ho Chi Minh City has the largest number of cinemas in the country, including MegaStar, Galaxy and Thang Long, and about 400 people reported with flu.

According to cinema directors, there’s been no change since the flu outbreak began in the city.

“People still go to the cinema a lot,” one of the directors said.

“We don’t require our workers to wear medical masks because we are afraid to scare off our patrons,” said Vu Phuong, an official of Megastar Cineplex adding that he would ensure the use of masks if there was a government directive.

Despite being aware of the dangers of the flu epidemic, most music theaters in Ho Chi Minh City don’t have any measures to protect audiences, because as the managers say, it’s up to the individual.

VietNamNet/Thanh Nien

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