Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City business center will begin social distancing measures for 15 days from May 31 in a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19, the government said on Sunday.
The city has seen an increase in cases linked to a religious mission which has recorded at least 125 positive tests, accounting for most of the city’s infections, according to a government statement.
After successfully containing the virus for most of last year, infections in Vietnam have increased since the end of April, accounting for more than half of the total of 7,107 cases recorded among its population of 98 million. It still has one of the lowest cases in the world, with a total of 47 deaths to date and authorities seem determined to keep it that way.
“All events that bring together more than 10 people in public are banned throughout the city, but the city plans to reduce the number of people to just five,” the government said.
The Go Vap district, where the Revival Ekklesia mission is located, will be under total restrictions, and people there will not be allowed out unnecessarily, the statement said.
The state-run Vietnamese News Agency (VNA) announced that authorities in Ho Chi Minh City would conduct citywide COVID-19 testing with a testing capacity of 100,000 samples per day.
“The city will prioritize screening people at high risk, including industrial park workers and members of the religious mission,” VNA reported.
“Ho Chi Minh City has carried out 50,000 tests so far. To date, at least 62,000 people have come into contact with infected people,” he added.
Ho Chi Minh City on Friday closed shops, restaurants and other services, and suspended religious activities until further notice, the city said in a statement. People aged 60 and over were encouraged to stay at home, he also said.
The reemergence of the virus with complicated clusters prompted the Vietnamese government and city authorities to speed up vaccinations.
In a letter to US President Joe Biden on Sunday, State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc suggested that the two countries step up cooperation in the research, production and technology transfer of the COVID-19 vaccine, the government said. in a press release.
About 64,000 frontline workers among Ho Chi Minh City’s 13 million residents have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, official data shows.
Vietnam has received around 2.9 million doses from purchases and through the international COVAX sharing program and is seeking millions more from foreign vaccine manufacturers for its vaccination campaign.
The locally produced COVID-19 vaccine enters phase III human trials involving 13,000 volunteers in early June.
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