Vietnam locks down capital city amid worst Covid wave

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Jul 24 (EFE).- Hanoi entered a 15-day lockdown on Saturday to combat a new Covid-19 wave linked to the highly contagious Delta variant, the worst the country has faced since the start of the pandemic.

The lockdown of the Vietnamese capital, which has more than 4.6 million inhabitants, was announced unexpectedly on Friday night amid a sudden spike in infections in the last 48 hours.

Residents have been ordered to stay home and only step out under few exceptions, such as to buy food or to go to the hospital.

Gatherings of more than two people are also banned and services in essential sectors have been reduced, among other measures, according to the order issued by the authorities.

These restrictions are similar to those imposed on the around 12 million inhabitants of the country’s most populated city, Ho Chi Minh City, since July 9.

On Friday, the authorities announced that the measures in the city had been extended until Aug. 1.

Vietnam is facing its worst outbreak after successfully containing the virus for much of the pandemic.

The country recorded 5,275 new cases on Saturday, taking the total number of infections to 83,191, including 370 deaths.

Vietnam, which barely recorded 1,500 Covid-19 infections in all of 2020, has among the lowest vaccination rates in Asia.

A total of 4.36 million doses of the Covid vaccine have been administered in the country and only 324,000 people are fully vaccinated out of a population of more than 97 million. EFE


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