The number of people who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 in Vietnam reached the highest-ever, at 1,089 found in 23 cities and provinces nationwide on July 5.
|Vietnam's Covid-19 cases. Source: MoH. Chart: Minh Vu|
Additional cases drive up the country’s total to 21,053, including 83% detected in the ongoing outbreak that flared up in late April. The death toll stays at 90.
Covid-19 has swept through 55 out of 63 cities and provinces nationwide, leaving Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) the hardest-hit locality with 6,675 confirmed cases, followed by Bac Giang 5,668, Bac Ninh 1,619, Binh Duong 766, Phu Yen 260, Dong Thap 226, and Tien Giang 179,
At present, the north brings the pandemic under control while the south is facing a surge in the infections count.
Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long attributed the rising cases in the southern region, typically Binh Duong, Binh Phuoc, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Dong Nai, Long An, and Tien Giang to the transmission at factories, industrial parks, and wet markets.
The Ministries of national defense and public security are asked to support the city in terms of quarantine, contact tracing, and social security. Meanwhile, some localities with anti-pandemic experience extend their assistance to HCMC and several provinces like Binh Duong, Dong Thap, and Phu Yen.
|Pandemic leaves Tan Son Nhat International Airport in HCMC idle. Photo: Doc Lap/Thanh Nien|
Ho Chi Minh City
Due to the rising infections in HCMC, nine cities and provinces namely Haiphong, Quang Ninh, Quang Binh, Gia Lai, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Nghe An, Thua Thien-Hue, Thanh Hoa, and Quang Nam have suspended flights to the largest city.
Notably, the country’s biggest resort island of Phu Quoc has also halted the flights to HCMC and vice versa.
HCMC-based Tan Son Nhat International Airport has maintained flights to 10 cities and provinces, including Hanoi and Danang but the flight frequency has continued dropping recently.
Given surging infections in HCMC, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh said at the meeting last weekend that the Government will spare no efforts to help the southern economic hub stamp out the pandemic.
He said that without quick and effective measures, the situation might be out of control.
Deputy Prime Ministers Vu Duc Dam and Truong Hoa Binh are assigned to be responsible for the pandemic control in HCMC.
HCMC is racing against time to test five million residents in high-risk areas to detect local transmission as there remain a number of cases having been found via massive testing in the community.
Health experts said it’s necessary to improve testing capacity and shorten the testing time. The Ho Chi Minh City Center for Disease Control and Prevention (HCDC) said it strives to return testing results within 12 hours for first-generation contacts of the index cases (F1).
Associate Prof. Tran Dac Phu, a senior advisor to the Vietnam Public Health Emergency Operations Center (PHEOC), said the massive testing helps the city both find infections in the community and have an overview of the pandemic for adopting better measures.
To ease pressure on the centralized quarantine, the HCMC’s Department of Health proposed piloting home isolation for F1 in eight districts including Districts 3, 6, 7, 10, 11, Phu Nhuan, Nha Be, and Can Gio from July 5.
F1 who are subject to the home quarantine include people who have been in infrequent contact with Covid-19 cases, those who work in the same room but more than two meters away and do not have direct contact, those in close contact are the elderly over 60 years old, children, pregnant women, people with disabilities who need care and support.
|Hanoi is preparing for the high school exam slated for July 7-8. Photo: Dan Tri|
Meanwhile, Hanoi is tightening control over pandemic prevention to prepare for the high school exam which is slated for July 7-8.
The city's high schools have so far intensified the preparations to ensure safety for people involved following the request made by Deputy Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee Chu Xuan Dung.
More than 100,000 seniors will attend the exam. Earlier, Hanoi advised the exam candidates not to leave the city ahead of the exam to avoid the risk of disease infection.
Hanoi underwent dozens of days without infections until July 5 when two people tested positive for Covid-19 in Dong Anh and My Duc outlying districts.