Nam made the announcement at a press conference on COVID-19 prevention on Thursday afternoon, adding that city authorities will still organize 18 other activities in January and February to celebrate the 2022 Lunar New Year festival.

The decision to scrap the annual pyrotechnic display came after Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam issued a dispatch on December 31 to call for vigilance against the emergence of the Omicron coronavirus variant by restricting large gatherings, including fireworks shows.

The Ho Chi Minh City administration halted all fireworks displays for the celebrations of the Gregorian calendar’s 2022 New Year’s Eve as well as last year’s Reunification Day (April 30) and Tet 2021 (Vietnamese Lunar New Year, which fell on February 12, 2021) to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The city did hold a New Year’s Eve fireworks show on December 31, 2020.

The southern metropolis has documented more than 510,200 COVID-19 infections since the fourth virus wave hit Vietnam on April 27.

Over 8.1 million adults out of nine million people of the city have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot, with more than 7.3 million of them fully vaccinated, according to the national COVID-19 vaccination portal.

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