31st Sea Games - Vietnam 2021 Covid-19 Pandemic
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Hanoi relaxes social distancing, HCMC sees record-high infections
Minh Vu 07:10, 2021/06/26
Hanoi has undergone 11 days without community infections while Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) recorded more than 600 suspected cases within 24 hours.

Hanoi today [June 26] reopened outdoor exercises and golf after the resumption of restaurants and barbershops four days ago.

 Outdoor exercises in Hanoi. Photo: VNA

The reopening must be taken together with the preventive measures namely the 5k protocol (masking – disinfection – distance – no gathering – medical declaration) and no public gatherings of more than 20 people.

Hanoi has undergone 11 days without community transmission. It reported 466 infections including one-third found in the two national hospitals during the fresh outbreak that flared up in late April.

In contrast, the southern economic hub of HCMC saw 667 suspected cases within 24 hours, including dozens detected in the public through testing.

Given the rising infections and multiple community transmission sources, the local government might plan to “live with the pandemic”, according to Dr Nguyen Tri Dung, director of the Ho Chi Minh City Center for Disease Control and Prevention (HCDC).

He said up to 68% of the recent infections are asymptomatic, leaving the local authorities slower than the sweep of the pandemic, VNExpress reported.

The doctor said the novel coronavirus, after being transmitted to many people of different ages, will appear in two states namely having virulence increased at the beginning and decreased later on. When the virulence decreases, transmission persists, but infected people have no symptoms or mild symptoms.

It requires the city in the coming time to protect vulnerable groups, including those with underlying diseases who need to be vaccinated and take precautions. Others with mild symptoms can be considered to have the flu.

The pandemic causes 12,360 first-generation cases (F1) who are in centralized quarantine and 26,259 others under home quarantine.

 Vaccination at Phu Tho Indoor Sports Stadium, HCMC on June 25. Photo: Thanh Huong/Thanh Nien

With an aim to stamp out the outbreak, the HCMC is speeding up the inoculation to fulfill its target of vaccinating more than 800,000 doses within 5-7 days that is scheduled to be completed today.

HCMC ranks second for the number of confirmed cases with 2,397, just behind Bac Giang epicenter 5,549 in the outgoing outbreak.

As the circumstances continue to evolve, Vietnam rushes to get the vaccines, considering it the key measure amid the widespread transmission.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has set a deadline for the debut of the locally-made Covid-19 vaccines and asked domestic Covid-19 vaccine developers to roll out homegrown kinds in June 2022 at the latest.

Chinh made the statement on June 24 when he visited Vaccine and Biological Production Company No.1 (VABIOTECH), Medicon Co., Ltd, and the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology (NIHE), noting the importance of production regardless of tech transfer or domestic development forms.

VABIOTECH is scheduled to pack the Sputnik V vaccine in Vietnam from July 2021 with a designed capacity of five million doses per month.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh works with leaders of Vaccine and Biological Production Company No.1 (VABIOTECH) on June 24. Photo: Nhat Bac/VGP

In another move, the Ministry of Health (MoH) has asked Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology JSC (Nanogen) to speed up the phase 3 clinical trials of the Nano Covax Covid-19 vaccine.

The MoH has agreed with the Pasteur Institute in HCMC and the Military Medical Academy to speed up the phase 3 clinical trials on all 13,000 volunteers. It has required the completion of the first doses by July 15 and the second doses before August 15, and the submission of data to the ministry in August. 

As of June 25, Vietnam has confirmed 14,537 infections, including 74 deaths.

So far, Covid-19 has swept 47 out of 63 cities and provinces nationwide. The hardest-hit localities are in the southern region, including Binh Duong where is home to 29 industrial parks, employing more than 1.2 million workers.

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