Vietnam quadruples 2020 Covid-19 cases in one day, tightens restrictions

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Jul 19 (EFE).- Vietnam on Monday tightened restrictions in 19 provinces after recording 5,887 Covid-19 infections the previous day, a figure that in 24 hours quadrupled the 1,465 cases detected in all of 2020.

The increase in cases has been reflected in mortality, with 254 deaths out of a total of more than 43,000 cases. On May 15 only 35 people had died from Covid-19.

The epicenter of this new wave, the worst that the country has suffered, is Ho Chi Minh City, the most populous in the country with 13 million inhabitants in its metropolitan area.

Here the authorities on Sunday night counted 4,692 cases, most of them in people already isolated in quarantine centers for having been in contact with positive cases.

Since July 9, inhabitants of the city have only been able to leave home for essential activities, while most businesses remain closed and thousands of workers in industrial areas are sleeping in factories to maintain production.

The communist regime in Hanoi acknowledged in a statement on Saturday that the current outbreak is getting complicated and announced movement restrictions starting Monday in 16 southern provinces of the country, as well as the deployment of 10,000 health workers.

Vietnam managed to contain the epidemic throughout 2020 and at the beginning of this year with its policy of closing borders to tourism and exhaustive tracking and isolation of positive cases and their contacts, but now the more contagious Delta variant is starting to overwhelm health authorities.

Some experts argue that the outbreak of cases since April is due to the fact that a large part of the population had some immunity against the first strains of the coronavirus, but not against this new variant, which is wreaking havoc throughout Southeast Asia.

The virulence of this new wave has forced the government to accelerate the rate of vaccination, one of the lowest in Asia, with just 300,000 people fully vaccinated out of a population of more than 97 million.

Vietnam has so far received 9 million doses from various companies, while a vaccine being produced by a local firm has passed its third phase of testing and its mass production is expected to start in September. EFE


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