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Vietnam nears Lunar New Year hoping for virus recovery

Vietnamese people are making their preparations for the Lunar New Year of the Tiger, the most festive event of the year, amid warnings of caution against COVID-19. In the old quarter of Hanoi, shoppers headed to the traditional market to look for decorations and flowers for the festival, which is called "Tet" in Vietnam. The market is opened about a month prior to Tet, which falls on February 1 this year. During that period, the streets are lined with shops selling decorative items in red and gold, the colours considered to bring good luck and prosperity. There are, however, fewer visitors than normal this year as authorities have issued a warning against large gatherings and asked people to practice virus safety measures. Vietnam has also cancelled scheduled firework shows and other festive events to minimise the risk of virus spread.