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JULY 18: Vietnam reports nearly 6,000 Covid-19 infections in 24 hours
Minh Vu 22:50, 2021/07/18
Roughly 58% of the total infections are detected in Ho Chi Minh City.

Vietnam confirmed 5,887 new Covid-19 infections on Sunday [July 18], the highest-ever daily cases since the pandemic broke out in early 2020.

 A deserted road in Ho Chi Minh City during the partial lockdown. Photo: HCDC

The majority of cases were found in Ho Chi Minh City, the epicenter, with 4,692, totaling 31,391 since the fresh outbreak flared up in late April.

The southern province of Binh Duong, which is home to dozens of industrial parks, is the second hardest-hit locality by Covid-19 in the ongoing outbreak. It reported 345 cases today, totaling 2,644.

To date, Vietnam’s total infections reached 53,774, including 10,663 people have recovered, and 254 deaths.

Hanoi prepares for emergencies

To prevent the widespread transmission of Covid-19, Hanoi from July 19 will apply a citywide stay-at-home order that requires everyone to remain at home except for essential purposes, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services, and working in essential sectors and for natural disaster relief and firefighting.

The gathering of more than five people outside offices, schools, and hospitals is not allowed. Weddings are not encouraged while funerals have no more than 30 attendants each. People are required to make a medical declaration when going out.

Police will tighten control over the implementation of precautionary measures and imposed punishment on violators.

To prepare for the restrictions, local businesses have increased the volume of essential goods by 30-50% while the local government has prepared 15 kinds of essential goods worth VND194 trillion (US$8.43 billion) for three months, tripling the volume required as usual.

Since April 29, Hanoi has recorded 627 cases, including dozens found in the central parts such as Hai Ba Trung and Hoang Mai districts.

Regarding the essential goods, Hanoi has a network of 28 trade plazas, 123 supermarkets, 459 wet markets, 1,800 convenience stores, nearly 2,400 shops offering goods of price stabilization, and dozens of thousands of mini-stores.

 At a Covid-19 checkpoint in Hanoi. Photo: Khanh Huy/Kinh Te Do Thi

Supporting the south

As all 19 southern cities and provinces will impose partial lockdown no later than midnight July 19, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh today asked seven ministries to set up Special Task Forces in Ho Chi Minh City to support the southern region.

From July 19, localities that are subject to the restrictions include Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), Binh Duong, Dong Nai, Can Tho, Binh Phuoc, Tay Ninh, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Tien Giang, Long An, Vinh Long, Dong Thap, Ben Tre, Hau Giang, Bac Lieu, An Giang, Soc Trang, Tra Vinh, Cau Mau, and Kien Giang.

Those localities will impose Directive No.16/CT-TTg that mandates closures of non-essential businesses and limits transportation services. Stay-at-home order is placed except for emergencies and purchase of essential goods like drug and food.

The Special Task Forces are representatives of the ministries of National Defence, Industry and Trade, Agriculture and Rural Development, Transport, Construction, Information and Communications, and Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs.

Each task force will be managed by a deputy minister who directly works with affected localities.

“This is a very important and urgent task that requires the ministers to give special attention to directing the task forces to promote the effectiveness of the restriction period,” according to the PM’s order.

On July 18, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh also asked Secretaries of the municipal and provincial Party’s Committees and Chairpersons of the People’s Committees in centrally-governed cities namely Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Haiphong, Danang, and Cantho to submit statistics on health workers serving the fight against Covid-19.

The data must be submitted to the PM prior to 5pm July 20.

 Covid-19 infections in Vietnam. Source: MoH. Chart: Minh Vu
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