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Today's Covid News: Vietnam considers stricter restrictions in southern region
Minh Vu 22:21, 2021/07/21
The possibility of imposing stricter restrictions rather than Directive 16 is very likely.

The Vietnamese Government has asked all southern cities and provinces to flexibly apply proper measures under Directive 16 that imposes stay-at-home order and bans non-essential activities.

Special focus should be placed on social distancing to ensure the proper distance between people, between families, and neighborhood groups, the Government said in a resolution issued on July 20.

A deserted road in the central part of Ho Chi Minh City during the restrictions. Photo: Thanh Nien

It means that all 19 cities and provinces, including Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), need to stress the importance of the implementation of Directive 16 that also 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 Government affirmed it will continue sparing no effort to support the fight against Covid-19 in HCMC and other southern localities. It will make full use of expertise from scholars and independent experts to make good reviews and forecasts on the pandemic situation to have effective steps.

The Government has decided to set up a Special Task Force led by a deputy minister of National Defence to take part in the common fight.

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam when working with authorities in the southern localities admitted that the outbreak in HCMC is “unprecedented” and unlike what happened in Bac Giang and Bac Ninh, where Covid-19 attacked industrial parks in May and June.

Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party’s Committee Nguyen Van Nen said at the meeting with Deputy PM Dam on July 20 that the local authorities were working with relevant agencies and experts to have better solutions for the city. But the possibility of stricter measures rather than the current partial lockdown is very likely.

“It is aimed to achieve the goal of preventing and reducing the spread of Covid-19 in the community because the current measures are not of the best effectiveness,” Nen said.

Deputy PM Dam agreed with the city’s idea of stricter measures.

According to Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Truong Son, the pandemic is complicated, unpredictable, and giving no positive signs. It requires the city’s strict implementation of the restrictions in the next 10 days.

The southern region has started imposing Directive 16 since July 19.

 Hanoi's police tighten control over incoming vehicles. Photo: Kinh Te Do Thi

Hanoi tightens control over anti-pandemic work

Hanoi, in another move, will quarantine at centralized facilities all people coming from all 19 southern cities and provinces, except for those serving the anti-pandemic work.

The capital city has built up its quarantine capacity of up to 50,000 people in facilities located mainly in the suburban.

In addition to strict measures, Hanoi targets to speed up its vaccination when the vaccine supply becomes more abundant. Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee Chu Ngoc Anh said the city is ready for the citywide large-scale vaccination with a capacity of 200,000 injections per day.

Daily infections

On Wednesday, Vietnam’s Covid-19 infections reached 5,357, including 14 imported cases.

It lifted the total to 68,177, including 11,971 people have recovered, and 370 deaths.

Four localities reported more than 100 cases in the day, including Ho Chi Minh City with 3,556, Binh Duong 964, Dong Nai 170, and Dong Thap 109.

HCMC to date has confirmed 41,343 cases, accounting for 60% of the country’s tally. Bac Giang, the second most affected locality in terms of infections, now brings the pandemic under control and reports just a few cases per day. It has allowed hundreds of companies to resume operations after the closure of four industrial parks in mid-May.

Binh Duong, where is home to dozens of industrial parks, including famous Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Parks (VSIP), is the second hardest hit by Covid-19 at present. It has 4,689 people infected with the virus.

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