Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Jul 20 (EFE).- Vietnam, which had impressed the world by not recording even a single coronavirus death during the first six months of the pandemic, on Friday crossed the 1,000 death mark as it struggles to overcome its worst surge of the disease.
According to the data released by the health ministry on Friday, 1,022 people have died of the disease so far, while over 133,000 have been infected.
Until May 14, only 35 Covid deaths and 3,800 infections had been reported in the country.
The continues upsurge in cases – as part of an outbreak that began in April – has led to the health ministry on Friday ordering private hospitals to treat Covid-19 patients, who were only being treated in government facilities so far.
The ministry said that the coronavirus pandemic was developing in a very “complicated” manner and had worsened in many cities and provinces.
Authorities have sought to make around 20,000 beds available in 228 private hospitals for Covid patients.
Vietnam’s biggest metro, Ho Chi Minh City, has become the epicenter of the current outbreak and has been under strict lockdown for three weeks.
Restrictions were further tightened earlier this week with a curfew, even as authorities try to speed up the slow vaccination drive by immunizing around 80,000 people per day.
The country had set an aim to vaccinate 70 percent of the population by August-end, although just 5.2 percent of the 97-million residents have so far received at least one dose of an anti-Covid vaccine. Moreover, just 0.5 percent people have been fully vaccinated. EFE