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JUNE 17: Vietnam’s coronavirus infections hit highest-ever record
Minh Vu 11:04, 2021/06/18
More than 40% of the total cases are detected in the northern province of Bac Giang.

Thursday [June 17] marked the highest-ever daily caseload in Vietnam so far with 503 people of locally- transmitted transmission.

 Health workers conduct massive testing in Bac Giang Province. Photo: CDC Bac Giang

The newest infections drove the tally to 12,150, including 7,432 active cases.

Bac Giang remains the hardest hit by Covid-19 with 5,007 cases, while its neighboring province of Bac Ninh reported 1,454 infections, and Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) confirmed 1,197 patients.

Given widespread transmission nationwide, the Ministry of Health on June 17 quickly allocated more than one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine to three aforementioned localities. Of them, HCMC received the largest volume with 830,000 doses to inject frontline workers, people in affected areas, and vulnerable groups, including the elderly aged above 65.

HCMC is now reporting community transmission on the large scale.

Regarding vaccines, leaders of many cities and provinces namely Danang, Vinh Phuc, and Bac Ninh said they want to get the Covid-19 vaccines for their residents regardless of prices. However, regulations on importing vaccines remain challenges facing them.

The leaders made the request after HCMC, the southern economic hub of Vietnam, was empowered to import the Covid-19 vaccines. The city has negotiated for five million doses to immunize its residents. Its inoculation target is to cover more than 70% of its inhabitants, or 7.2 million people aged above 18, according to Deputy Director of HCMC’s Department of Health Nguyen Hoai Nam.

Currently, the Ministry of Health allows 36 companies to import the Covid-19 vaccines. Therefore, local governments need to work with those authorized companies instead of suppliers.

In another move, John Paul Pullicino, Country Manager & Chief Representative at Pfizer Vietnam, said the company has not negotiated with private companies but the governments, adding that the first batch of Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine will arrive in Vietnam in July.

In an effort to mobilize sources for vaccine purchase, Hanoi is calling for contributions by all stakeholders for the cause. The request was made by Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee Chu Ngoc Anh and Chairwoman of the Vietnam Fatherland Front – Hanoi Nguyen Lan Huong.

The city said it needs an estimated VND1 trillion (US$43.5 million) for its inoculation of 70% of residents.

 Vietnam's Covid-19 cases. Source: MoH. Chart: Minh Vu
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