Thursday, August 5, 2021

Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City to extend social distancing curbs for 15 days

Most of the city's emerging infections have been linked to the religious group Revival Ekklesia Mission.

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Vietnam’s business hub Ho Chi Minh City will extend social distancing measures for a further 15 days starting from June 15, amid the emergence of new Covid-19 clusters, authorities have announced.

The former Saigon has seen a spike in cases related to several clusters including at a factory, a residential building, hospitals and a religious mission.

“The city’s current social distancing order is set to expire on Monday. However, since sources of some new infection chains have not yet been identified, the authorities have decided to extend the curb,” a government statement said on Monday.

Under the order, non-essential services and businesses will remain shut, while gatherings of five or more in public areas and 20 or more indoors are not allowed and people are advised to stay at home.

Most of the city’s infections have been linked to the Revival Ekklesia Mission, located in the Go Vap district, so this area will remain under stricter curbs, the statement said.

The city has logged a total of 845 infections since late April, making it the third-biggest coronavirus hotspot during the current outbreak, official data showed.

Meanwhile, Vietnam’s national Covid-19 vaccine fund has received more than 4.85 trillion VND (US$211 million) worth of donations from nearly 300,000 organisations and individuals as of Sunday, according to the fund’s management board.

Finance Minister Ho Duc Phoc said that his ministry will publicise the amount of donations the fund receives every hour and every day along with the spending of money from the fund, Vietnam News Agency reported.

Vietnam needs 150 million vaccine doses for about 75% of its population this year, for a total cost of 25.2 trillion VND (US$1.097 billion).

The ministry, which is in charge of the vaccine fund, has established a management board at the State Treasury and opened bank accounts at the State Treasury and commercial banks to receive support from individuals and organisations inside and outside the country.

Vietnam reported 297 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 on Sunday, including 293 locally transmitted and four imported, bringing the total tally to over 10, 500.

The health ministry said that among the community cases, 254 were reported in quarantine facilities or lockdown areas.

129 were detected in the northern epidemic hotspot Bac Giang province, 95 in Ho Chi Minh City, and 54 in the northern Bac Ninh province.

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