Vietnam to test Ho Chi Minh City’s 13 million people for Covid-19

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, May 31 (EFE).- Vietnam said it would test everyone in its largest city for Covid-19, after announcing new restrictions Monday to stop the country’s latest outbreak.

Ho Chi Minh City’s health authorities are aiming to collect 100,000 daily samples in coming weeks, with priority for high-risk people, including industrial park workers and members of religious congregations, Vietnam’s state news agency reported.

According to Health Ministry data, Ho Chi Minh City authorities have carried out 50,000 tests since the appearance of the new community infections in the country on Apr. 27 and at least 62,000 people have come into contact with the 157 positive patients so far in the city.

The announcement coincides with the Monday imposition of citywide social distancing measures that limit indoor and outdoor gatherings and ban leisure businesses such as restaurants, bars, hairdressers and massage salons from opening.

Vietnam’s Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long said Saturday that they have detected a new variant of Covid-19 in the country that mixes mutations of the Indian and British variants, and that, according to experts, could be more infectious and resistant.

Most infections are linked to a religious center in the Go Vap district, close to the airport, where the harshest measures were implemented Monday, although some images disseminated in the media showed bustle in the streets and traffic jams.

Vietnam has registered its worst wave of infections in recent weeks, reaching record numbers in daily cases, which worries the authorities who, so far, have successfully contained the spread of the virus.

Since the fourth wave struck on Apr. 27, Vietnam has registered 4,164 domestic infections spread over 34 of its 63 provinces, with the provinces of Bac Ninh and Bac Giang, in the north, as the main sources.

Since the start of the pandemic, the country has accumulated 7,168 cases, including 47 deaths from the coronavirus. EFE


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